Manage your expectations.
Success at a networking event doesn’t rely on the quantity of people you talked to, or how many business cards you gave away. You can go to a networking event and make a great connection by having a quality conversation with one or two people. You need to make the most out of the networking opportunities.
Plan some ice-breakers ahead of time
Most people can find it difficult to start a conversation with a stranger, especially when they’ve pressured themselves to build up their connections and are surrounded by important people. Doing a bit of research on who you would like to meet and coming up with a few questions as a starting point can help. So, plan ahead!
How long should I stay for?
Take the pressure off yourself and just show up. You don’t need to stay all night to make a great connection, whatever you feel comfortable with will do. You never know who you‘ll meet and where will that take you, just by showing up, you’ve already set yourself up for success.
If you see someone standing alone, go up and introduce yourself. Most of the people around you are just as nervous as you are. Make sure you have prepared a short summary of who you are and what you do professionally. Remember this will be your crucial value-adding that will develop further conversation and dealings.
Ask questions and encourage others to participate, make sure you have some questions ready to ask, such as main issues in the industry. This is a great way to generate further conversation and learn from others at the same time.
Keep it up!
Practice is the key. Attend to various networking events and you’ll soon realize it gets easier every time. Try to vary among networking events so you can mingle and get a better insight on different professions and sectors, this will help you learn new things and keep up your networking skills in a different setting.