This is the first of the articles I wrote for 336Events.com monthly magazine.
We all love a great networking event. What you do at these events will determine the value you and others get from your time there.
We have the opportunity to attend another networking event nearly every week of the month. All kinds of events including – 336Events, Chamber of commerce events, as well as numerous civic, community and association events.
When we walk into the room, we will need to be prepared.
For some, being prepared means having a pocket full of business cards, one hand to hold the drink and/or hors d’oeuvres and the other hand ready to greet as many people as possible. This type of networker is focused on getting to as many people in the room as physically possible, dolling out business cards with reckless abandon while collecting an equal number of cards and shoving them into the other pocket. Like the tasmanian devil, this networker can navigate the room without spilling any soda or snacks as they move from person to person. We call this networker a Gripping ‘n Grinning business card swapper.
Being prepared for others means showing up early ready to listen and share interesting stories. This networker will quickly catch up with the regulars before someone new to the group (or someone who has been away for awhile) shows up to the event. This networker will walk up to someone they have not talked with in a while and strike up a conversation. If needed, they’ll introduce themselves by name only and then ask something like, “Glad to meet you. What brought you out to this networking event?” This networker will stay focused to the person they are listening to and only share interesting and relevant stories. This networker is here to meet people, share ideas, stories and to enjoy a good conversation. We call this networker a connector.
After the networking event the gripping-n-grinnin business card swapper will cold call every card they collected. The network connector will have coffee, sweet tea or soda with their new connection and maybe strengthen the relationship that they started during their conversation.
The ‘grippin-n-grinnin’ business card swapper is after names, phone numbers and email addresses. The network connector is there to make a new connection that can become mutually beneficial.
Consider who you are the next time you attend a networking event.