Let’s admit it, we can all make the most of video meetings now, but talking face-to-face, reading body language, and friendly introductions are so much more effective and genuine in the real world. That’s what makes attending networking events unique, memorable and valuable. Humans are designed to collaborate for successful communities and supporting one-another in our local business ventures is a great way to reflect this.
As it has been some time since our last in-person event, we thought we’d remind ourselves of effective ways to connect and make the most of our time together:
- Come prepared with willingness to speak
Start with “Hello …” (use their name if they have a badge). It sounds basic, but most of us spent the last 2+ years behind screens. Take the initiative and just open a conversation.
- Ask questions (and listen to the answers)!
People love to talk about themselves and their own objectives. While connecting is about mutual benefits, being an active listener will build you personal credit and make you memorable.
- Know your goals and how to talk about what you want
This is your turn. Come prepared with what you’d like to share about yourself and your business and try to find ways to present this in a mutually beneficial format.
- Avoid the comfort of just speaking with people you know
Once you’ve said ‘hi’ to a few familiar faces, be brave and introduce yourself to new people. Try approaching someone you know is a ‘big deal’ in the local business community – or the key speaker of the event.
- Monitor how long you talk
As there are a lot of opportunities to make connections, spend about ten minutes with each new person and know how to exit a conversation gracefully.
- Ensure you give and receive contact details (and follow-up)
Make contact: a call, letter, email or connect via LinkedIn. Even if you don’t think the person/business is a fit for you, you never know where a connection might lead so take action after the event.
- Stay positive and upbeat, smile and make eye contact.
Keeping a bright disposition will keep you in people’s minds. If shaking hands; be firm and confident without breaking fingers – and no limp lettuces please!
Whether you come along to the Digital Somerset events to get value from our speakers, to make connections or a bit of both, our sessions are focussed on strengthening you – and the people you meet – as a business in the Somerset region.
To find out more or to book a ticket to our next event, click here – and, if you attend an event and don’t know where to start, come and say hello to one the Digital Somerset team. We’d be delighted to meet you!