We had our first official networking event as a sponsor this past weekend! It was super exciting. Thank you again to Georgia College and Park Tavern for allowing us to come out and promote our brand with the alumni event -- with the awesome food, free beer and great company, it was a great turnout. Being a formal co-sponsor of the event, we were able to interact with alumni, both new and old, hand out our marketing material and also continue to spread our message and promote our brand. In our downtime… we were able to observe.
How are people interacting?
What type of conversations are they having?
Do they have to have a drink in their hand to approach people?
Are they only staying near people that they know/came with?
What is their body language expressing?
To say the least, this part was the most interesting. They say people watching is extremely entertaining in and among itself; and honestly, whoever “they” refers to aren’t far off. Reflecting on the event we compiled a list of Networking “Do’s and Don’ts” that might help you at your next networking event. Don’t make such easy mistakes!
Put your best foot forward – There is no benefit sitting in the corner by yourself. Don’t be afraid to say hello to people around you. The chances are they are just as nervous as you and probably are pretty cool.
“Elevator Pitch” – Be quick, concise and accurate when describing your business or your current endeavor. Ensure you engage your listener from the get-go and make it memorable.
Listen and learn – This is a valuable lesson in life and not just business. Take time to learn from others’ experiences. Listening is a skill and takes practice, but definitely goes a long way.
Quid-pro-quo – You cannot expect to get something without offering anything in return. Offer free help, favors, advice or reduced cost services. You help them, they help you… sounds like a good deal.
Business cards – Make sure you have more than enough with you as they are a great way to exchange details, as well as allowing you a way of reconnecting the following day. Just don’t overdo it!
Don’t be timid – Don’t only talk to people you already know. You can talk to them anytime. Get out there and make some new friends! I guarantee you have a lot more in common than you think.
Don’t only speak to one person – The more the better.
Avoid too much self-promotion – Let’s be honest, this tactic is just going to annoy people rather than build valuable relationships.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions – Everyone is scared of appearing ignorant or stupid but there’s no need. Didn’t your middle school teacher tell you that there are no stupid questions? Just ask!
Don’t get drunk – Especially at the more informal meet-ups, there is the good chance they will be s