Networking in a business context refers to interacting or engaging in informal communications with others for mutual assistance. With the events sector this is an integral part of the industry, however, no one is perfect at networking but there are ways to improve your networking skills.
You really need to understand your target market so before an event, research the attendees and compile a list of who would be most beneficial for you to talk to. Plan to attend networking functions where you can connect directly with your target market or with people who can introduce you to your target market. It might also be a good idea to have a networking goal, so before you attend an event have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. You need to have a realistic understanding of how networking fits into your overall business building plan.
Probably the most important thing to remember at a networking event is your business cards which are likely to be the most powerful tool when networking. However, make sure you collect and give these with a purpose, tell people about your business instead of simply handing them over. Ensure you make the most of the event by being the first to arrive and the last to leave so you don’t miss out on any important opportunities. Also, it’s always a good idea to take a pen and paper along to networking events so you can jot down any important information.
The golden rule while networking is to be interested not interesting; you want to understand other people’s needs to see if you can help them. Be sincere and engaging; make eye contact with the people you’re talking to so they don’t think you’d rather be talking to someone else. Networking must be a win-win situation so make sure you know what you bring to the table. Give before you receive. You should ask the question: why would people want to network with me? You need to give value to receive value and should be giving as much in time and effort as you expect in return.
After the event, follow up promptly with any connections to develop and maintain them. You need to get to know, like and trust one and other. Some relationships may develop immediately but others can take much longer so do persevere and be patient.
Albany Appointments is London's most established recruitment specialist to the Conference, Exhibitions and Events industry. Created over 35 years ago, our strength lies in our unrivalled knowledge of the B2B Events sector and our commitment to both Clients and Candidates throughout the recruitment process and beyond.
Recruiting across a variety of positions, in London and Internationally, we specialise in placing candidates into Conference Production, Event Management, Marketing and Sales roles, from entry-level and graduate positions to management and senior executive level.