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The Ultimate Checklist: What To Bring To Your Next Networking Event
Networking events are a great way to build your professional brand, make new connections, and find new career opportunities. They are designed to help professionals like you meet people and share contact information.Share the article
Use The Items To Get The Most Out Of Your Next Networking Events
If you are looking to grow your personal network while looking for leads or a potential client, you’ll need to keep an eye out for networking opportunities. A great way to network is by attending designated networking events.
Networking events are a great way to build your professional brand, make new connections, and find new career opportunities. They are designed to help professionals like you meet people and share contact information.
However, a successful networking experience requires more than a strong elevator pitch and some business cards.
To get the most out of any networking event, you’ll need to be prepared.
Here are some networking tips in the form of a checklist that you can use to get ready to rule the room at your next networking event.
Don’t Leave Home Without This Networking Event Checklist
Now that you’ve registered for your next networking event, you’ll want to make the most of it.
Preparation is the key to feeling comfortable enough to take advantage of all the meetup networking opportunities.
Use this checklist to ensure you are ready for your next networking event.
- A Networking Plan
Before you attend your next networking event, consider why you are attending by asking yourself some questions.
- What Type Of People Am I Looking To Meet?
- Am I Looking For A New Job Or Career Shift?
- How Many Follow-Ups Am I Looking To Generate?
- What Will I Look To When Determining My Networking Success?
Formulating a networking plan around your goals beforehand will help define your purpose and determine which actions you should take during the networking event.
- Professional Attire
You already know that making a good first impression is pivotal when building your professional network. And those first impressions start with your appearance.
Choose clothing appropriate for your industry and the network event itself. You don’t want to wear a three-piece suit to a casual networking event.
Make sure everything is ironed, you are properly groomed, and you are comfortable in your attire. Don’t forget a firm handshake and plenty of eye contact!
- A Digital Business Card
Traditional relationship networking involves handing out plenty of business cards. While these networking staples have long been considered the best way to share contact information, the truth is they often end up crumpled in a pocket or lost in a desk drawer.
When meeting people, take your business cards to the next level by creating a cutting-edge digital business card.
A digital business card is a shareable file that allows you to share contact information with a new connection seamlessly.
It contains all the traditional information needed to follow up. Still, because you aren’t limited to a small piece of cardstock, you can add more information to showcase your personal brand.
- Links To Your Website
- Social Media Profiles, Like LinkedIn
- Links To Resources With Valuable Information
- Branded Color Schemes And Images
- Media Files And Videos
An added perk is that when you need to update your contact information or URLs, it can be done instantly, rather than waiting through the amount of time to reprint paper business cards.
- Breath Mints
When networking, you will want to eliminate as many potential distractions as possible to ensure the other person is listening to what you have to say. Nothing is more distracting during a conversation than foul breath.
Because you will be close to others as you network and may partake in some delicious appetizers, it’s a good idea to carry breath mints at any networking event.
Avoid anything chewy, like gum, as it can cause distracting sounds and impede your speech.
- A Good Ice Breaker And Conversation Starters
When meeting people, you typically start by asking their name and maybe their job title. But then what? Relationship networking doesn’t work if your conversation ends with introductions.
Ice breakers are a great way to initiate meaningful conversation. Here are some ways you can stir up interesting conversations with new connections.
- Prepare Some Trivia: Come ready with some interesting facts about the city the networking event is set or a historical tidbit about the host organization.
- Give A Compliment: Smile and offer kind words about the person’s glasses, shoes, or accessories.
- Ask A Personal Question: Think about something interesting you’ve done or somewhere you have visited and use it to ask a question about the other networker’s experiences.
- Solicit Advice: Whether you ask for a restaurant recommendation or which session looks most promising, asking for advice makes you more approachable.
Whichever conversation starter you choose, make sure you are comfortable with the topic and avoid taboo personal issues like religion, politics, and money.
- A Way To Take Notes
In this digital age, we often forget the power of a pencil and notepad. Sure, you can take notes on your phone, but this may cause you to appear glued to a screen for most of the event, especially if you are already using it to share digital business cards.
Bring a small notepad and writing utensil to write down the names and organizations of the people you meet. You can also write down any advice you hear or essential information you want to remember.
- Your Company’s Marketing Materials
Networking events may connect you with someone who is looking for your company’s goods or services. Be sure to bring along some sort of document you can share with a potential client.
Whether you bring a brochure, flyer, or other marketing material, make sure it helps you make a solid case for follow-up and engaging with you and your brand.
- A Positive Attitude
Professional networking is all about meeting new people and learning about what they can bring to the table. Sometimes, our nerves, anxiety, or other uncertainties can keep into our thoughts and make us appear less approachable.
Approach networking opportunities with a positive mindset. Think about everything that can go right during a networking event and engage with every conversation in a meaningful way.
Even if you are feeling unsure, remember to smile and remind yourself of the goals you set before the event. Keep an open mind and enjoy the experience.
Be Prepared For Networking Success
Building relationships is at the core of networking.
As you build your personal network, It’s essential to put yourself out there and take advantage of all the opportunities a networking event has to offer.
Whether you are a seasoned networker or this is your first time, use this checklist to make sure you are prepared for all the positive experiences professional networking events have to offer.
How can I use sales technology to improve my business?
Use sales technology to increase efficiency and drive sales by offering virtual professional development and utilizing sales automation tools to save time during the workday.
What topics should I avoid while networking?
Avoid discussing personal finances, religion, politics, and industry gossip while networking.
What are some secrets to successful networking?
Some secrets of successful networking include asking for a preferred follow-up method, discussing non-work topics, and observing the body language of your new connection.