Networking with impact
Networking with impact
Networking is an important aspect of meeting new people in the hospitality and events space. It can be a source of nerves for some people, particularly the first few times. But it doesn’t need to be and can actually be a lot of fun.
So why is networking important? Well, its the following:
Three top reasons to network
You can meet contacts who can help you
You will begin to soak up the events industry jargon
You will quickly understand that networking is a key component of business life
7 Ways to ensure you get the most out of networking event
Here we look at getting the most out of a networking event. After all if you are going to network you need to do so with impact and be remembered. Here we go.
You will most likely be in the company of like-minded people, many in the same or similar position as you. So you may as well go out and meet them. They are probably as nervous as you (even if they are pretending to be confident). A networking event (if you do it properly) is not so much about trying to get an immediate sale or a job, but rather to share and learn from other people, about what they do, about what you do and get to know each other better.
2. Use Social media
Social media is great for chatting and getting to know other people attending before the event. Let your network know you are attending and talk about the event; your followers may already be attending or may decide to come along and join you as a result. It is always great to meet your online contacts in person and to put a face to the Twitter name! In the past we have been known to use Twitter to encourage face to face interaction e.g. “If you are attending #brilliant #event tonight please say “hi! I am the chap with the big funky hair!”
3. Make small talk
Small talk (even if you don’t like it) is actually a great way to break the ice. Talking about the weather or the journey to the venue or that you are enjoying the food is a great way to start a conversation on easy ground and then who knows where that conversation may lead.
4. Ask a question!
The person you are talking to will love the opportunity to tell you a bit more about themselves and are then likely to reciprocate with a question back to you.
5. Take business cards.
If you don’t have your business card, then ask for theirs and be sure to e-mail them the following day. Ideally at some point you should get your own card so that people remember you. There is no excuse for not having a business card. After all it’s an investment in your future.
6. Join in
Get involved with any interactive elements of the event. This helps to break the ice, start new conversations and encourage face to face networking whether you are attending alone, with a guest or within a group of friends or colleagues.
7. Buddy up
You can buddy up (if you don’t want to go solo) with others doing the same. Send an email to the organiser and see if they will put you in touch with other individuals or people so that you can meet up and arrive at the event together. This is a great way to get over your jitters and to meet people straight away too.
Good luck, relax, smile and say hello.
Nine additional tips when networking
Do not get drunk.
Do not take your CV and ask for a job.
Never bad mouth anyone.
Listening is crucial.
Talk about your research or special area of interest.
Do your homework (the pre – work and the follow up work) – This is why it is called networking. Work out why you are going to the networking event.
Understand that you will make mistakes but learn from them.
Remember this is a long term business activity. You will always be networking in some way. Even family occasions involve skills of networking.
To be great at networking and to understand more about the hospitality industry then check in to our blog on a regular basis.
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