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What are 10 tips for networking at professional gatherings?
- Set goals. Prior to attending an event, know who you want to meet and what information you want to gain.
- 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.
- Practice your elevator pitch. Know how you will present yourself to others. How will you make them interested to know more about you?
- 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.
- 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.
- Research trends and upcoming events. Become knowledgeable on what is happening in your field to enhance discussions with others.
- Appearance. Reflect on your personal image and what is appropriate for the event.
- Add value. Networking is about building mutually beneficial relationships. Decide how you will add value to your new connections.
- Work the room. Make yourself visible and approachable.
- Contact information. Obtain contact information via business cards or through an electronic exchange with your new contacts so you can stay in touch.