Attending a networking event, especially if it is your first time, can be a little daunting. You may not know what to expect, who will be there and how you are going to feel. You imagine yourself to be a little fish in a very big pond. That’s understandable. However, marking conferences and events are the perfect chance to get your message out there. It’s a chance to communicate with like minded individuals in the same field or industry. You can make new contacts and friends. With that in mind, I thought I would share with you five sure fire ways you can get noticed at your next networking event.
Let other things do the talking
Not many of us are confident enough to shout from the rooftops who we are and what we stand for. So if that sounds like you then let other things do the talking. Things like business cards or wearing a lanyard around your neck with your business or name in it. You can get some great options from places like lanyardsusa.com. You could even have a personalized notebook or file that you carry round with you. Handing out business cards can be a great conversation starter. So take advantage of the subtle advertising you can do for yourself.
There is no point attending one of these events if you don’t plan on speaking to anyone. It is a wasted opportunity. So take a deep breath and communicate with people. Talk about who you are and why you are there. Opening up a conversation with someone could lead on to further contacts or knowledge. You have no idea where that conversation could take you. One of the main reasons you have chosen to go is to learn something and connect, so make sure you do that by communicating.
Make eye contact
When someone is shy or perhaps out of their comfort zone, it’s easy to look away or down at the floor. Try and avoid that at all costs. Not making eye contact with people or the person you are talking to gives a totally different impression. You may appear rude or uninterested. Eye contact is important to show that you are listening.
Engage with people
While you are the event, engage with people as much as possible. Post to your social media and interact in person and through the mediums of online platforms. Engaging could be liking a photograph on their instagram, or tweeting how you are at the event using a specific hashtag. As well as the old fashioned way of engaging in a conversation and using eye contact which we have just covered.
Make yourself known to the important people
Finally, don’t be afraid to make yourself known to key note speakers or session panelists. These people are experts in their field and will welcome questions as well as feedback. The more contacts you make with the right people, the better the experience you will have.
I hope these tips help you at your next networking event.