A Few Networking Tips

last night, I attended the Techbridge Holiday Party as a guest. While there were a lot of great people in attendance, I only had two hours to be there and wanted to make sure that I maximized my time. Here are a few suggestions on ways to make these types of events most productive:

  1. Get there on time or early. Find the name badge table and don’t be shy to read through every name. Pick who you really want to meet with and make sure it happens. Online registration lists are also a great asset.
  2. When you find the person you want to talk with, and they are engaged, approach them, apologize for interrupting, and ask I they mind you joining in. Nine times out of ten, they won’t mind. The alternative is waiting around for them to leave the conversation and that may not happen for a while.
  3. If somebody doesn’t want anything to do with you, kindly exit the conversation. Don’t try too hard to change their mind. You can usually tell who these people are because they will either be short with you, or be looking around for someone else.
  4. Follow up. Do what you said that you would do. Make that introduction, forward them the link. You may be surprised to see how many people neglect this simple, but material effort and being diligent can go a long way.
  5. Have fun. Networking events can be a blast. Keep a smile on your face and find something to laugh about. Yeah, you could be at home watching American Idol season 52, but you’re not. Make the most of it :)

Any tips I left out? How do you make networking events fun and effective?

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