Networking events can be slightly unnerving for even the most outgoing of Recruiters…who should you speak to first? What would be a good conversation starter?
Here a few pointers for you to follow at your next networking event that will hopefully help you loosen up and feel comfortable enough to become a networking pro.
Take time to do your research on what events would be relevant for you to attend. Whilst it is all well and good attending multiple events, make sure they are relevant, otherwise it’s not going to get you very far in terms of growing your own client network and candidate pool.
A good tip prior to attending an event is to research event hashtags via Twitter or LinkedIn and see if you can connect with anyone attending ahead of time. By connecting before the actual event you will have a better idea of who is attending and have a chance to find some common ground to make it easier when striking up a conversation in person. If you’re still struggling for a good topic of conversation look up industry relevant news that will be of interest.
The more events you attend and appropriate people you speak to the better. By making a point of researching and attending any relevant events that crop up you will be able to practice your networking skills whilst growing your network. After a while the fear of networking should disappear and any initial awkwardness you may have been feeling when you first began.
Remain focused and professional
Try not to let your nerves and emotions get the best of you and make you lose sight of the main purpose of attending the event. You are ultimately there to establish new business connections as well as improve your networking skills.
Remember you are working and also representing your company so avoid distractions like your phone. Looking at your phone will make you appear less approachable by making you seem too busy to start a conversation with.
Build Relationships with new connections
Remember to bring your business cards ready to exchange with any new connections you might make. Introducing yourself at the event is a good start, but it’s important to follow up with them afterwards to establish the connection and make you stand out. Drop them a line letting them know you enjoyed speaking with them and would like to keep in touch.
Aim to check in with them every now and again to remain relevant in their minds and prompt them to think of you should any new business opportunities arise.
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