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!