Networking events can be intimidating, period. Surrounded by knowledgable people you want to impress and show you’re worth to. Studying Business in University I’ve learned a thing or two about building those weak ties.
1. Know who you’re talking to: Who will be attending this event? Find out who the main attendees will be, even industry information will help you narrow down the type of audience expected.
2. Identify your worth: Build a conversation with someone where they can walk about and feel they gained something of value from your interaction. This will make you memorable.
3. Take notes on the back of their business card after your conversation: If there was one point which stood out to you and could use in a follow up email write it down discreetly.
4. Use judgement when sending follow up emails: Try sending emails mid week rather than days from Friday to Monday. Time is a high factor effecting if they read your email and have an opportunity to respond.
5. Dress Professionally: First appearances are made within 15 seconds. Holding someones attention for a conversation begins from when they see you.
6. Work the room: Try to walk around and talk with more than who you suspect to be the big names in the room. Everyone has something to share and you may even find a mutual connection. I learned someone who graduated way before me competed in dance competitions with one of my dance teachers. It’s a small world!
Have fun and take each event as an opportunity to grow.