How to stand out at a Networking Event
Being able to network is essential in all industries. If you’re a pretty outgoing and confident person then you have no issue with standing out from the crowd. However, for introverts networking can be a scary experience. Instead of looking a networking events as a daunting experience, look at them as an opportunity to socialise and engage with people who share your interests.
Here are five tips to get you ready for that next networking event.
Put your phone away
If you’re a little nervous it’s very easy to get your phone out to avoid any awkward eye contact with anyone. But how do you expect to network if you are constantly looking at your phone. Put the phone away and start socialising.
Interact with the experts
This is the part that most people dread. There are many ways to introduce yourself. If you see a group of people talking having a good time get up and join the conversation. Remember the best thing about networking events is that you don’t have to be so formal. You can simply walk up to a group conversing and join in the chat.
If the person you want to talk is surrounded by a lot of people, it could be best to wait until she/he is less occupied so you get more of their attention. If you see one of the speakers by themselves, this is the perfect chance to go up to them and start a conversation. You never know what the conversation can lead to. My conversation led to an internship at Bauer Media!
Don’t be afraid to ask for emails or Twitter handles. It’s always good to keep in contact with some of the people you met. It’s always nice to send an email or a tweet to one of the speakers who really inspired you. It definitely makes you stand out and could led to the start of a great relationship.
No one wants to talk to someone who looks like they are not interested in the conversation. Being enthusiastic not only makes you stand out from the crowd, but it shows that you have a genuine interested in the industry.
I know we have all heard that saying ‘“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” It’s vital to socialise and network with people who work in your field. Networking allows you to communicate with industry experts and build relationships with those working in your industry. So don’t let anxiety hold you back and start networking.
Words by Lateefah Jean-Baptiste