Some people will never feel comfortable at networking events, while others love the excitement of meeting new people. If you tend to be on the uncomfortable side, you just need to learn a few tips to give yourself confidence and ease your tension. Then keep practicing. Here are a few tips that will help you at your next networking event.
When you register for the event, ask if volunteers are needed to help at the registration table, assist with the technology, or manage the speakers or promotions table. Often, events have ‘official’ greeters whose role it is to mingle and introduce others.
Get There Early
Try to be one of the first people to arrive at the event. This allows you to get the lay of the land. You can select a good seat where will position you in an area that others will gather to – like the food or drink table. Additionally, when you are one of the first arrivals, others arriving after may have the impression you are associated with the event and gravitate to you. Additionally, you can easily welcome new arrivals. Start with people coming in on the own and gradually work up to greeting people who arrive in groups of 2 or 3.
Introductions are as simple as a smile, handshake and a statement like, “Hi, I’m Marie Catallo with the Jarvi Group.”
In turn, the recipient will introduce themselves, and then it’s your role to ask leading questions to start and keep a conversation moving. Be prepared to briefly describe yourself and what you do. Otherwise known as the elevator statement. This should be .30 to 2 minutes and offer enough insight to help others determine if there is an immediate connection.
A good one is, “I’m a recruiter for the Jarvi Group, we specialize in connecting job seekers and employers in technical industries. I’m at this event to make new connections with recruits and employers.”
Good follow-up questions that are suitable at most professional network events are:
- “Have you been to this event before?”
- “What did you think about the speaker?”
- “Have you attended many of these events?”
- “What other events do you typically attend?”
- “What do you think of the program so far?”
- “What did you like best about the talk/speaker/workshop?”
Once you get used to introducing yourself to new people at networking events, it will get easier. Setting a goal for yourself is also a good idea. For example, this year I’m going to attend four networking events and connect with five people at each one.
Conversations Lead to Connections
Any good salesperson will tell you, more conversations lead to more connections which lead to more opportunities. If you are considering a career change, start networking today to build connections. Our experienced team of recruiters can provide you suggestions on groups, events and activities that can help expand your professional network. Reach out to the Jarvi Group today!