We’re getting ready for the HR Star Conference tomorrow in Cleveland, so we’ve put together some of our best tips to make the most of a networking event. Even if you’re not attending tomorrow’s conference, these tips can help make any event a success.
- Set a Goal. Before you walk through the door, take time to ask yourself why you’re attending the event. Are you going to use the event as an opportunity to strengthen old connections, or do you want to meet five new people? Either way, set yourself a goal so you’re not aimlessly wandering around and checking emails on your cell phone.
- Prepare an Elevator Speech. Be ready to concisely tell a person exactly who you are by creating (and practicing) an elevator speech. Check out some of our tips for how to prepare an effective elevator speech here.
- Be interesting and interested. Once you’ve introduced yourself, specifically ask someone else about what they do. Stay engaged with what they’re saying, and ask open-ended questions to follow up. Not every conversation has to be work-related, either. Let the conversation flow naturally, and don’t be afraid to show some of your personality too.
- Follow Up. If you just connected with a dozen or more people at an event, take the time to follow up afterwards to ensure they remember you down the road. A LinkedIn request or simple email will work, as long as you make sure to personalize the message you send.
- Practice. Networking doesn’t come easy to most people, but the more you practice, the easier it’ll get. Attend networking events regularly to keep yourself sharp and to keep your connections strong.
Have another tip you rely on at networking events? Share them with us in the comments!