Are you a Staffing Professional planning to attend a networking event or have you already attended one?
In today's digital age, face-to-face marketing still holds great value, and it's essential to maximize your time and resources. Whether you're setting up a booth at a national trade show or attending a local dinner event, there are several best practices for networking events that can help you make the most of your experience. Let's explore them below.
- Define your goal: Before heading to the event, it's crucial to establish a specific goal. Are you aiming to generate a certain number of sales leads or connect with individuals from a specific organization? Setting a realistic and achievable objective is key. While securing a job order might not be feasible, landing an appointment is a more attainable goal.
- Be an active listener: Have you ever encountered someone like Joe from Premium Solutions, who can't stop talking about his company and products? It's essential not to become that person. When meeting new people, take the time to ask questions and genuinely listen. Engage in a meaningful conversation. Remember, networking isn't solely about business; try to discover common interests and build relationships. After all, isn't building relationships the essence of networking?
- Introduce yourself: Don't limit yourself to conversing only with people you already know. Remember, it's a networking event, and the purpose is to expand your network. If you feel hesitant to approach strangers, seek introductions from acquaintances. Overcoming shyness can lead to new job orders and opportunities.
- Exchange contact information: Remember to bring business cards or utilize smartphone apps that simplify digital information sharing. At the very least, carry something to write on. Following the event, send a follow-up email to your new contacts, expressing your pleasure in meeting them. This is also an opportune time to request an appointment or schedule a facility walkthrough. Remember to apply what you learned from tip #2: learn more about their company and share how you can assist them.
- Leverage technology: Networking events primarily revolve around personal interaction, but don't overlook the power of technology at your disposal. Check if the event has a Twitter hashtag and engage by tweeting about it. Utilize location-based apps like Foursquare to check in to the event. Connect with the people you meet on LinkedIn and expand your professional network. If you come across a company of interest, show your support by liking their Company Profile on Facebook or following them on Twitter. Most events nowadays encourage online interaction and provide social media information in their materials. Utilize these platforms to your advantage.
Networking events can feel overwhelming, but they don't have to be. By implementing these best practices, you can navigate them with greater ease. Do you have any additional networking tips for events? Feel free to share them in the comments below!