You arrive alone. Your heart is racing and all of a sudden your charm and charisma is gone. IT’S A NETWORKING EVENT! You try to make eye contact with someone for a safe secure place to stand. “They look nice” or “they don’t look threatening” thoughts are running through your head and everyone seems engaged in their own conversation . . . . . you say to yourself “that’s it I am leaving!”
1. Find the bar! Whether or not you’re drinking, it’s always a great idea to position yourself at the edge of the bar. Many people run for the bar when they get to a networking event in order to get a short respite from an overwhelming entrance.
2. Be yourself. Networking events are meant as jumping-off points for relationship building. If you can’t be yourself, you’ll be starting off these new relationships with a lie. Don’t try to be the person you think others want to meet. Be genuine
3. Introduce yourself to the organizer. A great way to get to know more about an organization and who is involved is to seek out the event organizer and introduce yourself. He/she can then help point you in the right direction and can introduce you to other attendees to get you off on the right foot.
4. Treat connecting like a puzzle. If you’re asking great questions and considering how you can help others, you’ll naturally start to draw connections between who you are talking to and others in your network
5. Do NOT “work the room.” Don’t try to meet as many people as possible in a room; focus on making just a few solid connections. People can sense when you’re simply speaking with them to grab their card and go. These short interactions will not be memorable and therefore work against you. Aim to meet a few people and begin a meaningful dialogue.
For more tips and to read the full article visit, Forbes.com.
Also check out, How to Network the Right Way