Last week, I attended a NetworkPhoenix event. It was such a nice event! This is my second time attending an event by this coordinator, Gelie Akhenblit. It is always a five-star, red-carpet, event that includes numerous vendors, food, and drinks! Not only does she put on great events but she also has a social network feature on her website for members. There, people can connect, share business information, their website, Facebook and twitter information. I applaud Gelie for such a star-studded event. Excited for the next one!
I enjoy attending networking events because not only does it give me an opportunity to get the word out about my business but it allows me to step out of my comfort zone! :) I am forced to polish up on my business "spiel" and work on my firm hand shake and eye contact. I gave out and got a lot of business cards and met a lot of people. However, there are things I've noticed at networking events are not exactly Networking Event Etiquette.
Here are a few networking event tips to keep in mind:
1) Make sure you take plenty of business cards and information!
PROFESSIONALLY DESIGNED at that. I have received pieces of computer paper with information on it and once someone ran out of cards so they wrote info on a napkin. That is not professional and not a good way to give a "first impression". You should also have your "spiel" down pat so you're not struggling to find words when explaining yourself. At networking events you will be getting a lot of business cards so it is a good idea to write notes to yourself on the back of the cards.
2) Dress professionally
ATTENTION LADIES! DO NOT COME TO A NETWORKING EVENT LIKE YOU'RE GOING TO THE CLUB! :) Unfortunately, I have been to events where cleavages and thighs were the highlight of the evening! There are plenty of stylish, professional, affordable outfits you can choose from. Now, don't get me wrong, I understand that there is a possibility of meeting someone of the opposite sex at such an event that you may want to impress. But if they aren't attracted to you in your Diva-fit then why would you want him anyway? You want the men to take you seriously at these events. Keep it simple and look nice! GENTLEMEN you aren't off the hook either. I understand that jeans are becoming more common to wear because you can dress them up with nice dress shirts and jackets, but NOT ALL THE TIME! If you're trying to impress someone, no matter what year we're in, JEANS is not the route to go.
3) Go light on the drinks
Always a feature at networking events, are the drinks! I understand a glass of wine here and there may make the environment more bearable but if you're trying to build a business you might want to lay off a bit. I have had people who have talked my ear off about their personal lives or been in my communication box because they went over the unsaid 2 drink minimum rule. Keep it together and don't go overboard OR just wait until you're done networking . Remember you want to make a good first impression.
4) Be confident, positive, and friendly.
This is the time to show what you learned about having a good interview: give a firm handshake and direct eye contact. When meeting people and telling them about your business, you are conducting mini informal interviews! You should impress people with your clear communication, and knowledge in your business.
By keeping these few tips in mind, you should have a successful networking event experience. It is important to attend networking events because business doesn't come through the door if you don't get out of it. You want your business to be recognized at these events so you might have to attend up to 3 to 5 times. Happy networking!
We make the calls you're 2 busy 2 make!
Brag about yourself!