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Take your networking seriously!

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When you treat your attendance at business events as seriously as you would everyday business meetings, I believe you will have lots more fun and gain far more opportunities as a result. Surely you would never meet a client or a professional contact or in fact attend any serious business gathering without  some planning and preparation?   No. So why just roll up at a gathering, conference or any business encounter and hope for the best?

The smaller the event e.g. a dinner or a Saturday afternoon in your client’s executive box at Old Trafford the more important it is you find out about your fellow guests. Before attending events I suggest you ask yourself a number of questions using the table on the following page.

How are you going to get the best out of these two precious hours? How are you going to ensure that you make the right impression? Have you got a clear, concise and interesting answer to the question ‘what do you do?’ How many business cards are you going to take with you? How many “ahaa” moments should you be aiming for?

Who… What… Where… When… Which… Why… How….
Else will be going? Is the event all about? Is the event being held? Is the date? Outfit do I wear? Is the event taking place? Am I going to make a good first impression?
Should accept the invitation? Do I want from attending? Do I park? Is the start and end times? Is the best mode of transport? Have I been invited? Am I going to state what I do in a clear, concise and interesting way?
Else should come with me? Time should I leave to get there on time? Do I stay (if it is a late ending)? Would be an acceptable time to leave? Literature, if relevant, do I take? Should I go? Important is it I go?
Should I be meeting at the event? Happens if I don’t go? Are my business cards and pen? Is the food being served? Person / groups do I approach when I walk in? Shouldn’t I go? Am I going to get there (and back)?
Else needs to know (socially)? Is it going to do for my career? Do I start when I walk into the room? Is the best time to arrive? Side do I wear my badge? Should I have clear business cards with me? Am I going to make the most of the time I spend?
Should I talk to first? About the baby sitting? Are the restrooms? When should I give a business card? Are the best questions to ask? Should I arrive early? Do I act as a host (even if I’m a guest)?
Is in the guest list? Can I offer to the other guests? Should I move on? Should I give my name clearly? Do I ensure I am being polite and interested?
Follows up contacts? Do I need to do to get myself into the right mood? Do you wait? Adapt your conversation to the event? Am I going to feel good about who I am, what I do and who I represent?
Research do I need to do? Listen actively? Am I going to follow up?
Do I need to know about the key fellow guests (or guests if you’re a host)? Am I going to mingle?
Can I help others with? Am I going to be confident in approaching groups
What’s in it for you?

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  1. Pingback: #BlogArchive 'Take your networking seriously!' - Kintish

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