Networking 101: 5 Tips to Start Networking Strategically Like A Pro

So, you have a full day and can’t always get around to your nearest networking events. We’ve all been there. It’s tough, as it is imperative that every professional or entrepreneur have a failsafe networking strategy in place to reap the rewards of success.

In this guide we will hook you up with our top tips on creating a networking strategy that will last, and deliver results. Let’s get started.

1. Create Your Event: Host Dinner Parties

If you can’t make it to a networking event, bring it to your home! A great way to get to know people is to sit and have a casual meal with them. If you are aware of any prospective partners or clients in your area, be sure to send them an invite.

You can also host the event at a restaurant, which leaves you with more time socialising and getting to know your contacts on a personal level.

2. Have a Plan of Action Mapped Out

This takes some planning and prepping. First, you’ll have to identify influencers and people you would like to meet, your goals and how the relationship will be beneficial to both parties. You can also include specifics such as how much time to spend on each.

Something to keep in the back of your mind is identifying individuals that can be beneficial to other people in your established network and introducing them.

3. Review Your Network on a Regular Basis

Anything goes stale after a while. You should always keep a tight grip on your networking affairs and know which contact should not be in your network anymore and which could stay. A great strategy is to review your network once a year and starting on a clean slate.

Reviewing is key to your growth, because your goals and priorities change over time. Make sure your network aligns with your focus area and you should be good to go.

4. Have Great Networking Etiquette

And no, we don’t mean avoid boasting about yourself (but please, don’t), we simply mean pay it forward! If you have anyone in your network you can introduce to another influencer or prospect, then do so. Networking does not revolve around you.

It is built around communities and building healthy business relationships. By introducing two connections to one another, you may be helping them succeed.

5. Have One Ambitious Contact

Kind of like the Elvis of your list of contacts if you like. If there is one key influencer that you wish you could get in touch with or be on a first name basis with, add them to your list. This will keep you motivated and continually aim for more.

Do some research on your high-profile prospect and establish whether or not both parties will benefit from the relationship. Once you have, make contact and explain how you can add value to them.

It’s hard work, but if you keep at it you’ll do just fine. Remember, the road to the top may be rocky, but it’s not what you know but who you know that almost certainly always makes a difference. Practice makes perfect so keep working at your networking strategy, and try to attend as many events as possible.

6 Arguments for Attending Networking Events

You’d be surprised to know that 40% of people out there attend networking events. Do you find yourself with the remaining 60% of the population? You either don’t find the time or don’t see how you would benefit from going to a social or networking event?

Well, we’re here to convince you otherwise. There is a lot to be gained from attending these events. Not only are you able to enhance and grow your business, but you also develop bonds with peers and clients alike. Let’s take a look at our six top reasons why you should attend a networking event.

1. You Get to Rub Shoulders with Big Wigs

Attending a social or networking event will allow you to rub shoulders with key influencers in your industry. These people can become mentors who will add value to your own business by sharing their own insights and experiences.

While you won’t necessarily meet a key influencer, attending an event will allow you to have a discussion with them in a professional environment.

2. You’ll be More Motivated

Trust us, after any networking event you are bound to be geared to performing and pulling out all the stops. At these events, like-minded people get to share their own experiences and ideas or even their take on the latest trends.

By attending a networking event you will be able to tap into this positivity and leave the venue bursting with ideas and motivation.

3. You Get to Socialise

It’s not all business, which is fantastic! Running your own business or working towards becoming your boss takes a lot of hard work and dedication. We doubt you have a lot of time for yourself, to relax and socialise.

By attending a networking event you will be able to converse with like-minded people casually. Networking events enable you to build your career while taking a break from it.

4. You Will Build Meaningful Relationships

While attending a networking event can be intimidating, it is key to build and nurture meaningful relationships with prospective business partners or clients. It is the ideal social setting where you can discuss anything related to your industry.

By attending these events regularly, and keeping in touch with your new network of connections, you’ll soon have a great network you can rely on.

5. You’ll Be in The Loop

One of the most important features of networking events is the fact that all the latest developments and trends regarding your specific industry will (at some point) be discussed. This allows you to stay in touch with the outside world and be on top of things.

Being in the loop of business trends and developments gives you insights into better planning, management and revenue.

6. You’ll be Inspired

And last but not the least, attending a networking event will leave you inspired. Whether you got to discuss a business growing pain with a key influencer, or connect with a like-minded individual who offered a solution to one of your difficulties, you will be inspired.

Attending networking events is kind of like a learning experience. Key note speakers will share their own experiences while attendees get to soak up all the wisdom.

So, you see, you can only benefit from attending a networking event! What’s holding you back? Be sure to check our resources page for exciting networking groups out there.

Our Top Eight Tips to Dazzle Everyone at the Next Networking Event You Attend

New to the networking scene? Everyone has to start at some point. For those of you who hate attending a social or networking event, we feel you. There are however ways and hacks to ensure you make a great impression at any event you attend or plan on attending.

And that is exactly what we’ll share with you in this post! If you want to know how to make the best first impression and dazzle your new connections, read on!

#1 Be Friendly and Approachable

But more importantly, smile! Smiling is important when meeting new people, as you will appear warmer and more approachable. But, if you smile and have a positive and approachable attitude, it will also increase your chances of being memorable. This can make a huge difference for retaining new connections.

#2 Focus on Adding Value

And by adding value, we mean listen. Paying close attention to attendees will show them that you are interested in them and their businesses too. Keep in mind that sharing ideas, concepts and experiences is important, but so is adding value by valuing fellow networkers’ opinions. Be curious and ask them relevant questions.

#3 Don’t Focus on Selling

We can’t stress this enough. If you go out to a networking event and you try to sell yourself or your company to one and all, you won’t get anywhere. Of course, you can discuss your business with fellow attendees, but there is no need to sell yourself. Just take it easy and have a relaxed and casual approach rather than scaring people off.

#4 Know your Audience

This is very important. Before you go to any social or networking event, try to do some research on the speakers and other attendees. This way you will know exactly what each of them do, and you will be able to come up with relevant questions that could add a lot of value to you. Pay attention to the details and be prepared.

#5 Bring Someone With

Whether it is someone who works for another company or someone who works alongside you, going as a team may take a load off your shoulders. It will ensure that your interactions during the event remains natural and not forced, while providing plenty of opportunity to praise one another honestly.

#6 Listen Pro-Actively

Be sure to listen when you are in a conversation with anyone. If you wish to join a conversation, listen to the conversation and make sure you can add some value before blurting anything out about yourself or your company. Being attentive and adding value is key to making a great impression at any social or networking event you attend.

#7 Just Be Yourself

We’ve mentioned this before, but we can’t stress it enough. If you are a bit of an introvert, try to relax and take a couple of deep breaths. The best thing for you to do is stay calm and just be yourself. Be honest, and don’t try to sell or boast about yourself or your company. Remember, you are there to connect with like-minded professionals and not win a contest.

#8 Try to Make a Friend

This tends to take a whole lot of pressure off the entire ordeal, doesn’t it? Instead of trying to gather as many business cards as possible, be relaxed, calm and casual. This way you will take much more from the event and maybe even add value for someone else. If you get to make a friend along the way, well that’s just a bonus!

Attending any event can be intimidating, no matter who you are. With these top tips you’ll be able to relax and enjoy, while making the most of it. Best of luck!

Try Any of Our 6 Innovative Solutions for Networking While on the Go

Are you a bit of a jet setter with minimal time to network? Are you constantly in strenuous corporate meetings without an opportunity to grow your list of connections? If so, you are not alone. A lot of people find it difficult to connect and mingle while building meaningful partnerships with a hectic schedule.

In this post, we’ll provide our top six tips for networking while you are traveling. Be sure to make notes as these are golden!

1. Marriott Six Degrees

This concept transforms any Marriott lobby into your handy networking hub. Marriott partnered up with MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and together they developed this savvy app that will link all guests via LinkedIn based on their interests and backgrounds. Guests can easily opt-in to be part of the six degrees community and have information at the ready regarding any relevant events.

2. KLM Meet and Seat

This fantastic initiative by KLM allows passengers to opt-in for this service and make their professional profiles available for fellow passengers. You are also then able to view other passengers’ information before your flight. This will allow you to meet any prospective clients or partners while on your way to your next meeting. Simply use the tool on KLMs website to opt-in and share your profile!

3. Grand City Hotel

Even though this initiative is only available to those staying in Grand City Hotels (GCH) based in Germany or the Netherlands, it’s still a pretty neat concept. GCH offers guests the option to download their MeetMeIn application which allows you to connect with other guests staying in the same hotel. You’ll also gain access to information about upcoming events and networking opportunities.

4. Seat to Seat Delivery with Virgin America

Even though the media has marked this snazzy feature as an ideal flirting mechanism, there are more efficient ways to use it. Virgin America launched their Seat to Seat delivery and chat initiative in 2013, allowing passengers to connect via the new and improved entertainment system. You can easily identify passengers and connect with them, or, if you like, buy them a drink to break the ice!

5. Marriott Residence Inn Mix

For those who have to stay a bit longer at a specific destination, better opt for booking a room at a Residence Inn! The chain of hotels offers travellers unique opportunities to connect and mingle with fellow professionals. Amongst other things, hotel dwellers are treated to movie nights, social gatherings with snacks and drinks, and much more during their stay.

6. InterNations

InterNations caters for expats who live abroad. Now, before you think this is not ideal for you, think again. Especially if you return to a specific location repeatedly. Joining this online networking platform will allow you to connect with travellers and professionals alike. Whether you are keen to join an event or a gathering, you’ll be able to build that network without breaking a sweat!

There you have it! No longer are you limited to the little time you have to network and connect with peers or prospective clients, you can now do it while on the go.

5 Reasons Why Every Marketer Should Attend Networking Events

Networking events can be daunting. Especially if you’ve only started out your career and if you have a bit of a self-confidence problem. As opposed to sitting in one corporate meeting to the next, attending these events will allow you to get out, stretch your legs and most importantly, learn!

There are of course a bunch of other benefits of attending these kinds of events, especially if you are a marketer. In this post, we take a closer look at the top five reasons why you should get out of your shell and start going to every marketing networking event you possibly can!

#1 Get Great Advice

Yes, you’ll be able to rub shoulders with the industry’s big wigs and accomplished marketers. Never underestimate the value of having a conversation with one of these guys. Attending a marketing networking event will enable you to jot down great advice from influencers and key note speakers or even meet them in person.

You’ll be able to discuss ideas and marketing trends with your peers and get to hear their take on any new developments.

#2 Great for Confidence

Having confidence will go a long way if you are only starting out your career as a hot shot marketer. If you are a bit of an introvert, attending these events may be a bit scary at first. It is however an absolute must, and you’ll soon find that it isn’t scary at all. The more networking events you attend, the more confidence you’ll have.

This is great for so many reasons. Not only will you have the confidence to pitch your idea to your prospective client, but you’ll be able to converse with confidence in every situation.

#3 Get Noticed

This one is a bit obvious, as loads of executives and influencers attend these events. But imagine being noticed by one of these people. Next, imagine what it could mean for your career ahead. Whether you are working as a marketer or own a marketing company, being noticed and recognised is key in your success.

The more you attend these events, you’ll be noticed and recognised creating a sense of trust and transparency.

#4 More Opportunities

By attending marketing networking events you’ll put yourself slap bam in the middle of a sea of endless possibilities. For instance, you’ll be able to partner up with other marketers on a specific project, share experiences and ideas, and of course gain valuable intel on leads. By being visible at these networking events you’ll have a great opportunity to grow.

You also have to keep in mind that not every partnering or sales opportunity won’t necessarily be a good fit for you.

#5 Increase Your Network

In life, no matter what your profession, knowing the right people will most certainly mean more to you than having a wealth of knowledge stored in your brain. As a marketer, expanding you network will enable you to refer to the network should you or one of your clients require a specific service. The most important thing is to be sure your network is relevant.

Attending a networking event will ensure you can make the right kind of connections and grow your network with ease.

As you can see, you have nothing to lose when attending a big marketing networking event. What are you waiting for? Check out all the latest networking events here.

Here’s 6 Reasons Why Your Company Should Sponsor a Networking Event

When you think about it, networking events hold loads of opportunities to everyone involved. There is no reason to think that there might be cons for attending, hosting or sponsoring one of these events. As an attendant, you get to rub shoulders with peers while sharing ideas and growing your business.

As a business, you will be able to use the event to your advantage while impressing attendees and speakers alike. Creating a professional image alongside other brands has never been as easy or impactful than sponsoring a networking event. In this post we take a quick look at the top six reasons why you should give it a shot and how it can apply to any business, especially in tourism and travel niches like a Barcelona luxury car hire company.

1. Nurture Relationships

Whether you consider sponsoring an event to nurture relationships with clients or suppliers, doing so will bring you into contact with both! The beauty of it lies in the fact that you’ll connect with non-competing businesses and might even collaborate with them in future endeavours.

2. Gain Valuable Insights

While sponsoring a networking event looks great for your company, you’ll also gain valuable audience insights while doing so. Other participants will more than likely share their own experiences, making it a truly valuable experience for both new business owners and those with experience.

3. Social Responsibility

By sponsoring any event (be it a networking or a social event), you’ll set yourself apart from your competitors. It’s great to set yourself apart by showing you invest in your community and are dedicated to giving back.

4. Improves Perceptions

If you run a one-person show, chances are you aren’t getting as many feet or leads as you aim for. By sponsoring a networking or social event, you bring your company to the spotlight where prospective clients will immediately develop a positive perception around you and your company.

5. Increases Visibility

When you team up with other big brands and sponsor an event, you’ll get noticed. Getting noticed leads to generating leads, leads will lead to conversions, you see where we’re going with this. Being recognised as a trusted company is vital for success, and sponsoring an event brings you closer to realising it.

6. Generates Valuable Leads

Instead of marketing online and hoping you generate any lead, sponsoring an event will get you right there in no-time. And leads generated at such events will more than likely turn out to be valuable in the sense that they convert into buying customers. Being a sponsor at an event does wonders for positive connections.

You also want to see some results and eventually, once you’ve acquired enough wealth and luxury, show off in LA with a Bugatti. Being a sponsor of a social or networking event can be loads of fun, but it can be great for your business too. It’s not guaranteed, but it will more than likely see an increase in your return on investment.

Focussing on the value of these events is important. While numbers and figures count, building true relationships with prospective partners and clients is what matters at the end of the day.