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Offline Networking: What are 10 tips for networking at professional gatherings?

What are 10 tips for networking at professional gatherings?

  1. Set goals.  Prior to attending an event, know who you want to meet and what information you want to gain.
  2. Have a professional online image.  People may be reviewing your online credentials before or after these gatherings.  Make sure your online presence (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Blog, Facebook) represents you as a professional.
  3. Practice your elevator pitch.  Know how you will present yourself to others.  How will you make them interested to know more about you?
  4. Stay positive.  Whether you are seeking a new job, trying to identify new clients, or just networking to meet new people, keep the tone of your communication positive.
  5. Know who will attend.  Obtain a list of attendees and research the backgrounds of those you are most interested in meeting.  This will provide you with ice breaker conversation.
  6. Research trends and upcoming events.  Become knowledgeable on what is happening in your field to enhance discussions with others.
  7. Appearance.  Reflect on your personal image and what is appropriate for the event.
  8. Add value.  Networking is about building mutually beneficial relationships.  Decide how you will add value to your new connections.
  9. Work the room.  Make yourself visible and approachable.
  10. Contact information.  Obtain contact information via business cards or through an electronic exchange with your new contacts so you can stay in touch.