Six Tips for Professional Networking Events

Six Tips to Meeting People at Networking Events  

Meeting people at professional events can be extremely hard, especially when there’s a lot of networking going on. You don’t want to be the only person in the corner or sitting at a table by yourself while everyone else is talking. You will stand out and look weak. The following are six tips on how to act professionally when meeting people at networking events:

1. Wear your nametag on the right side where it is easily visible. People can shake your hand and won’t have to move their eye contact to see your name. Remember, you are helping THEM feel comfortable and want them to remember your name.

2. Promise yourself before you go that you will make 3-5 new contacts (introduce yourself/meet) before you leave the mandatory/boring/fabulous event. Give yourself permission to go and to leave as necessary, but make sure it was worth both your time and the time of those you met.

3. Shake hands firmly (don’t squeeze) and look people in the eye. Do not offer your hand if the person would have to juggle food or drink to shake hands. Carry your beverage in your left hand so that your right is free to shake hands and won’t be cold or wet from holding a drink.

4. Have conversational questions in mind before you arrive. Remember that people like to talk about themselves, so just ask questions: What brought you to this event? What do you think about (topic)? Make references to recent activities/events – movies, award shows, sporting events, etc.

5. When you receive a business card, make a verbal comment about the card or the information on it as it is given to you– don’t pocket it as if it were just another card you’re probably not going to look at. When you return to the office or your home, make sure you record – on the card – any date/event/additional information you learned. Also note if you are to follow up with an email or call.

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