Whether you are new to the event planning industry or a veteran, it is important to keep your connections fresh. You never know when you may find yourself in another position that you might need a different resource. These 5 simple tips for effective networking will come in handy at any point to help you establish new and productive connections.
Having business cards are always an essential component to networking. If you find yourself going to an industry event, or just simply going out to dinner with a friend, you will be surprised at how having your business cards on you becomes so crucial. I can remember a time when I’ve forgotten my cards while going through a trade show, and it cost me a very meaningful connection. Make sure to always keep one or two of your business cards on you, you never know when you will be called to speak to the work that you do.
If you are not on LinkedIn, then you should signup here. It is a great site to stay connected virtually. I think of it as an online business card holder. The great thing about LinkedIn is keeping up with your contacts as they celebrate anniversaries at their jobs, move to a new role or organization, or if they have an important announcement. Additionally, with LinkedIn you can be apart of numerous groups that provide relevant information on what is happening in the industry. You can also engage and connect with other LinkedIn members through discussion forums.
I’ve been to numerous speaking events were the speaker suggests to the audience that they should develop their 30-second story. This elevator speech helps you to tell people about what you do, and who you are, all within 30-seconds. If you haven’t developed a 30-second story yet, I would urge you to do so. It comes in handy quite a lot, especially when your family members ask about what you do.
Make the Connections
Much of the time, it is about who you know that will bring you a wealth of resources in the event planning industry. However, although who you know may be important, it can be even more important to know how to help people make connections. I can’t tell you how many times people have approached me for advice on a hotel, a meeting planner, or a event service professional. Knowing how to connect others to who or what they need to be successful will elevate your networking status immensely.
Know what you want
We’ve all been there. Trying to navigate and get through all the rows and rows of exhibits within a trade show. Sometimes we are out there giving our business cards to everyone, without any purpose other than to get the small token of appreciation at each booth. Instead of networking without purpose, know what you want and be intentional about the people and companies that you would like to visit. Cross reference the list of exhibitors with your current or future projects so that you are meeting people that you will work with in the future. If you don’t have any current projects be intentional about learning bit more about specific resources that might help you in the future.
I hope that these tips were helpful for you. If you have any other networking tips that you would like to share with those that read the blog, start the discussion below. Cheers to making meaningful connections!