I originally posted this on my own blog, back in August 2013, after I went to a networking event which is held quarterly by a LinkedIn contact. I wrote this as part of my own post-event analysis because it was my first time in attendance. I continue to put pressure on myself to network more, and farther outside of my comfort zone. I know that I will benefit, but it does take energy because I am not naturally a person drawn to large social events.
- It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert, you don’t live in a box so you need to figure out how to keep your contacts fresh.
- Most people have as many and possibly the same reservations that you have about going.
- Follow up matters – but is also dependent upon your intent for starting the contact in the first place.
- How many people do you know that just go through motions because they have been told that they must?
- One person I know went to coffee with a new contact and was frustrated when the new contact didn’t seem to understand the point of the coffee meeting follow up. (Hint: it isn’t a coffee klatch.)
- You need to spend a couple of moments before the event getting your thoughts together about your own expectations for the event.
- If it is your first event, your objective can be as simple as getting through the event. Be yourself – your most vivacious self that you can muster.
- Some people will be there just to collect cards – these are probably the folks who had the most yearbook signatures in high school and a lot of trophies. Don’t spend too much time with them.
- This is social, so have some fun. But remember appropriate behavior for the occasion.
Ultimately, networking should help each of us to find people to expand our community. What do you have to say?
Beth Anne Reed has a background in Customer Relations, Process & Project Management and a deep interest in Written Communications.
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