Any business owner can benefit from networking events. By connecting with fellow business owners, you gain valuable knowledge and experience. As a result, you will be able to take advantage of a variety of opportunities.
Learn some tricks of the trade, or understand the latest in the opportunities that are trending. Getting out and meeting fellow business owners is a helpful way to network and tap into the hidden job market. Start small, and talk to a few business owners at each event. In this article, we’ll dispel some of the myths about networking events.
Networking events require formal attire
You don’t have to worry about carrying around resumes and a name tag on your lapel. Firstly, networking does not have to take place at a formal event. Networking opportunities can be found anywhere people gather.
In addition to social events put on by your family and friends, Meetup.com, for example, can help you find local events. Browse by location and interest, and see if there are groups related to your profession or industry. Don’t stop there, though. Getting involved in groups based on hobbies, outdoor activities, or cultural events can also be effective.
Networking events are full of arrogant and accomplished people
Walking into a room full of strangers can be extremely intimidating. It is not uncommon for people to wonder, “Is everyone looking at me?” But remember that everyone at the event is probably feeling just as awkward. It is simply a matter of some people being more adept at hiding it than others.
The purpose of networking events is to meet and get to know other professionals. In order to put yourself out there, you need to be vulnerable. So, instead of thinking everyone is judging you, assume they are equally concerned with how they appear to you.
If people are in groups, observe their body language to determine whether it would be appropriate to join their conversation. Otherwise, locate someone else who is standing by themselves and talk to them; they will probably be relieved to have someone to converse with.
You will gradually become more comfortable interacting with people if you attend these events alone. It is fine to go with a friend if you agree to split up from time to time and talk to new people.
Get your elevator pitch ready or ask for a job
Now that you have a drink in hand and a better understanding of the surroundings, what should you do next? Networking today involves more than merely pitching yourself or telling everyone you are seeking employment. Making authentic connections is the key to success.
Generally, people view others more favourably when they show interest in them. It is possible to make a lasting impression by listening attentively and genuinely trying to get to know the individual. Here’s a tip: focus completely on the other person. Find out where they’re from, how they heard about the event, and what they enjoy doing in their spare time.
Suppose the conversation turns back to you, and they ask, “So, what do you do?” There is no need to recite your resume. Describe your work in clear, non-jargon terms, as you would with a friend. Most people are more interested in learning how you got into your line of work and what you enjoy most. In essence, it is all about storytelling. Also, you can mention that you are taking steps in another direction and describe what your next position will entail.
Remember that you are not seeking a job from anyone or asking for their assistance. It is possible they may mention that they can connect you with someone they know. If not, no problem. In your follow-up, you will be able to explore this further. Ensure that the conversation is light and friendly, with plenty of back and forth.
Once you’ve been to an event, you’re off the hook
After attending the event, you may feel like the difficult work is over. In fact, this is the point at which the most significant work begins. Send personalized LinkedIn connection requests within two to three days of receiving your business cards. Include a few things you discussed at the event, and mention how pleasant it was to meet them.
Following their acceptance of your request, you can determine whether they are connected with anyone at your target companies. If so, you may ask if they would be comfortable making an introduction for you. Also, you may be able to introduce them to anyone in your network who might be of assistance. In this way, it will not seem so one-sided.
Maintaining a professional relationship online requires a bit of nurturing and consistency, so be sure to reach out to them on a regular basis. Sending a relevant article as social currency can help keep the conversation alive. A spreadsheet is a simple way to keep track of your interactions with your connections. As a result, no one will be able to slip through the cracks.
Even though in-person networking can initially be intimidating and a bit challenging, the key is to attend event after event and remain consistent with your follow-up correspondence. Maintaining contact with your connections can lead to them referring you to an opportunity or someone of interest. This is the method by which the hidden job market is accessed.
Networking events can be a lot of fun and a valuable way to make new contacts. Check out the Château le Jardin corporate event venue in Vaughan. Château Le Jardin offers over 40,000 square feet of versatile event space for corporate functions. For more information, call us at 1-888-529-8573 or contact us here.