Networking is key to survival. It will help you find a job faster, find quality recruits for your business and stay up to date with business trends and changes sooner. But, networking is not always fun and most people would rather stay home and clean their gutters than attend a professional networking event.
Here are a few tips that we came up with here at Datavo to help make the event less stressful.
1. Go. If you go, you will never gain anything. If you put it on your schedule, make the effort and get to the event. Think of it as a work commitment (which, it actually is.)
2. Be Informed. Take a second to research who is throwing the event and why. This will give you some insight on what you might expect at the event and leave less chance for surprises.
3. Make Sure You Have Business Cards. Most people these days are on LinkedIn. Some people feel that this can supersede the paper tradition of the business card. Except, that’s not the truth. At a professional event, you always want to take business cards. Otherwise, it could look like you are unemployed or ill-prepared.
4. Listen More Than You Talk. The more you listen to someone the more you become interested in what they are saying and it should lead you to more questions about the subject. People appreciate when you pay attention to them when they are speaking.
5. Follow-Up Swiftly with Potential Possibilities. If you meet someone that you think may be a lead to a potential job or client or just hit it off with someone you want as part of your professional network don't just chalk it up to chance. Send them a note through LinkedIn, Facebook or email. It will set you apart from the crowd.
If you have any tips, feel free to leave them in the comments.