5 Ways Event Planners Can Get More from Networking [Video]
5 Ideas to Boost Networking
Networking – love it or hate it – can be an important skill for event planners. But how can you get the most out of it and avoid those tricky situations? Here are five ways to get more from any networking event and situation.
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Networking is a word that could incite fear into the most seasoned of event professionals, but it is something that is inevitable in our industry. With so many networking events on each and every month, how you decide which are worth attending? How do you stand out from everyone else? And how do you turn the meetings into meaningful business relationships?
This video “5 ways event planners can get more from networking” will give you some tools to take forward with you – whether you’re about to attend your first industry networking event, or the first of many this week.
Hi, I’m Elena and this video is brought to you by the Event Manager Blog video series, EMB is the number one blog for event professionals. It is for those of you looking for advice on ways to gain experience, grow your business and plan events.
Newbie or not, heading to networking events – especially on your own – is rarely on top of a favorite things to do list. But given the nature of our sector, we have to do it to remain competitive and relevant. To keep on top of current trends and to who’s who, to find out who’s moved to where, and who can you connect with that person you have been trying to get hold of for ages.
Here’s our top five tips to make the most of each and every networking experience you have:
1. Don’t Hunt In A Pack
Though it may be tempting to stick with your work squad the entire time, you are actually more likely to make meaningful connections if you branch out on your own. Though this may be daunting at first, it is important to remember that the event industry is a very friendly place and there is always a chance you have common ground with somebody, whether this is contacts, recently attended industry events, or thoughts on a current hot topic.
2. Use Social Media
Before you roll your eyes – not in the way you think. Of course we can all look up guest lists and check the hash tags, but really use social media. For instance someone you want to talk to is going… but you don’t know them. Take a look over their social media to see if you have anything you can strike up a conversation with them about. Have they worked on an event that you loved recently? This might help make your initial meeting a little less awkward.
3. Be Interesting And Interested
Ask questions about the other person – there is nothing worse than networking with someone who is only interested in talking about themselves and their business. Everyone has a project or a product they are dying to talk about, give them a chance to. Only talking about your own offering is a sure fire networking turn off.
4. Be Choosy With The Events You Attend
If you wanted to, you could be out every night at a different industry event. While at the beginning it might seem like a great idea because you are getting your face out there, it is important to pick events that have content and contacts there that you are genuinely interested in meeting to avoid wasting both parties time (and business cards).
5. Apply the LinkedIn strategy IRL (in real life)
If you can’t see the guest list ahead of time, ask your mutual contact to introduce you, potentially pre-event if they are not going to be there themselves. They might also be able to help you scope out whether or not it is likely that they will be interested in working with you based on what they already know. This can give you a heads up on whether to go in with the hard sell or just gently lay foundations. The LinkedIn play is also helpful if you are stuck in a conversation with someone at an event which has gone on for way too long. You know the ones where you have other people to meet but the conversation does not seem to be coming to a natural stop, and it is rude to cut it short. You can act as the mutual contact by bringing someone they haven’t met into the conversation and excusing yourself. It’s a win win for everyone!
And there you have it, five ways event planners can get more from networking. We hope they were helpful and you have the opportunity to put them into practice soon. Let us know if you have any other methods you use to boost your networking and share this video with anyone you think could benefit from this video.
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