Additional tips for attending business networking events

More tips for your business networking

In an earlier column, I discussed some of the fundamentals of participating in a business networking event. Recent networking events reminded me of some additional steps you can take to ensure the event is a success for you and the others.

Invite others into your conversation. During one event I was seated at a table with three other networkers. As I left to get a soda, I noticed another attendee standing off by herself. I approached her and invited her to join us.

You recall those times when you stood by yourself, and how happy you were when someone approached to chat. Now it’s your turn. At various times during the meeting, glance around the room. Do you see another attendee standing by himself or herself? Approach and introduce yourself. It’s the professional thing to do, and it just may open the door to a business relationship. 

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Business networking events vital to your success

Do you attend business networking events regularly? If not, why not? They are an effective and inexpensive way to market yourself and your business. You can mingle with other business people in a casual environment, enjoy some food, talk shop, and along the way pick up some new contacts. Some of those folks are right in your backyard, figuratively if not literally.

There are a couple principles to keep in mind about networking events. First, be patient. If it’s your first event for that business networking group, the attendees may not know you. You need time to build rapport and relationships. That will require more than one event, so plan on networking regularly. You will be remembered over time.

Second, like all business relationships, those that are conceived during a networking event should be done so with mutually beneficial intentions in mind. As you will note from the suggestions that follow, you’ll spend a significant amount of time getting to know the other attendees, their needs, and so on. It’s a twist on the old saying, “It is better to give than to receive.” As Zig Ziglar famously said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

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