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20 Tips for Navigating a Networking Event

Posted by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 6:34 PM
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Navigating a Networking Event - 20 Tips

Here is a list of tips to ensure you make the most of attending a networking event as shared by Courtney Pike, a career development and communications professional and co-author of the book, How to Say It On Your Resume.

Do your prep work and know what type of people will be in attendance.
Read the news, so you can be up-to-speed on current events and potential conversation topics.

Make note of who the event organizers are, so you can thank them at the event. (Usually they are the most connected people in the room.)

Dress the part. Make note of the venue and expected attire.

Think of several conversation starters or opening lines. It doesn't have to be deep - weather, sports, local news, reasons for being there, etc.

Arrive on time. You can meet the organizers and work a smaller crowd.

Focus on the people, not the food. It's difficult to shake hands and continue conversations when your hands and mouth are always full.

Drink in moderation. No one wants to hear you slur about your job search.

Position yourself in a high traffic area.

Be assertive. "Hello, my name is..." Introduce yourself and start conversations.

Say something after your name to help lead the conversation.

Try not to talk with the same two people the whole night. Sure, it's more comfortable, but you can follow up with those two over coffee another day.

To keep the conversation going, focus on things you both know about - the guest speaker, the networking event, or the organization hosting the program.

Listen and ask questions. Remember, it's not all about you.

Hand out your business card to those you shared a conversation with, but don't fling them out like flyers.

Request a business card from those you would like to follow up with.

Bring a wingman if you're intimidated, just don't spend the entire evening chatting with your friend.

Tell the event planners thanks and that you enjoyed the event.

Jot down notes on the business cards to keep track of everyone you meet.

Follow up! After the event, get connected on LinkedIn, and send a personal email to request a meeting to continue conversations.

Robin in Chicago

by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 6:34 PM
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