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…
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?
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