9 Things You MUST Do Before Your Next Networking Event (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

Most people are completely unprepared when they go to networking events, and then they wonder why “nothing is happening” for them at these events.  Here are 9 preparation secrets to make your next networking event a huge success:

  1. Set realistic goals and a strategy for the event.  Are you attending to learn about a subject?  Are you hoping to meet the featured speaker?  Are you looking to make several new contacts in your field?  Walk in with a goal(s), and you will accomplish much more. 
  2. Research those who will be in attendance.  If you want to connect with the featured speaker, for example, it would be wise to spend a few minutes researching their work before the event, so that you are prepared to ask several intelligent questions during their presentation or when speaking to them afterwards.  Very few people ever do this, so you will stand out considerably if you do.
  3. Practice your elevator pitch.  Other than asking your name, the first question you are asked at any event is what type of work you do.  Click here for tips on how to answer if you are employed.  Click here for tips on how to answer if you are a student or looking for a job.
  4. Research the industry/organization hosting the event.  While small talk is inevitable at networking events, the most impactful conversations are with people who actually have something educational or thought-provoking to say.  How can you add value to your conversations by sharing some ideas or points for discussion?
  5. Make sure you are dressed correctly.  Treat a networking event like a job interview or a sales presentation because it could turn into one.  Make sure you look your best, and if possible, try to wear something that will draw people to you in a good way (i.e. a sharp tie or a striking necklace).
  6. Think of something creative to write on your name tag.  Everyone loves humor, and most networking events need more of it!  Use good judgment, but if you can incorporate humor into the name tag you wear at a networking event, people will start conversations with you.  I attended a Johns Hopkins University young alumni event in 2009, and I wrote “Class of ‘77” on my name tag.  People came up to me all night to tell me how funny my name tag was.  (In case you don’t know me, I am only 28 years old, so I clearly had graduated long after 1977!)
  7. Make sure you have business cards and a portfolio pad/pen.  If you forget these networking essentials, you will appear disorganized and unreliable.
  8. Eat 1 hour before the event.  See yesterday’s post for 5 reasons why this is essential.
  9. Brush your teeth right before the event.  Bad breath will kill your first impression, no matter how friendly you are or how great your appearance is.

Lack of preparation is the major reason why networking is not working for many people!  Do you want to ace your next event?  Then, follow the 9 tips above.

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert and President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

www.IdealizeNow.com

Blog: https://careermuscles.wordpress.com

Follow me on Twitter @PeteLeibman

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Explore posts in the same categories: Networking, Professional Relationships

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