Are you successful in making connections at networking events? If not you may be making some of these networking event mistakes. If you’re an introvert you may not enjoy gatherings of people—it drains your energy. Networking events may be unnatural for you and you don’t get much out of them. Or…you’re an extrovert and you not only like to be around people—you need it, but you never seem to make the right connections.

Regardless if the networking event is in person or online, whether you’re intro or extroverted, outgoing or introspective, quiet or verbose, has little to do with networking success. What you do or don’t do, at events, is the key.

Top 10 Networking Event Mistakes

10. Not knowing your needs

Before the event, determine where you need help, what you hope to gain, and why you’re attending the event.

9. Having no idea who’s attending

Review the attendee list and determine whom you want to meet and why you want to meet them.

8. Stumbling for words

Develop and practice a short elevator pitch before you attend any event. You may want to edit or compose a new EP for specific events.

7. Arriving late

Not only is it rude and disrespectful, what does it say about your professionalism? Besides, if you arrive early, you may be able to network with people who are unavailable or too busy later.

6. Talking too much

Slow down, you’ll gain more through listening than talking.

5. Being a wallflower

Get out and mingle. I know it can be hard, so here’s an easy way to begin.  Start by asking a question such as, “What brought you to the event?”, “What are your organizations biggest challenges?” or  “Who were you hoping to meet?”

4. Only visiting with friends

Quit hanging in the corner with your buds and go meet some influencers. Where do you begin? See number 5.

3. Not realizing any gathering of people could be a networking opportunity

Networking isn’t confined to planned meet-ups. Any time there’s a group of folks, networking could erupt.

2. Too much me

If you want to make a networking impact, don’t ask for help—offer it. You’ll be amazed how many people will reciprocate.

And the number one networking mistake to avoid is—

drum roll, please…

  1. Not following up with connections

You introduced yourself, made a connection, and exchanged cards, but that card has been sitting in a drawer for three months. The last time you looked at the card you asked yourself, “Was that the bald guy?” Take a few minutes the next day and follow up with a quick email, social media connection, or call. What networking mistakes have you made?

How Can I Help You?

I’d always considered myself an effective networker. I’m friendly, easy to talk to, and I’ve never met a stranger. However, none of that makes me a good networker – it makes me outgoing. If I wanted to be the most effective networker I could be, I needed a plan. That’s how my networking workbook, Help Networking started.

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Erika Giraud on Unsplash