Are you ready for Elevate 2019? Some of the profession’s best networking opportunities are coming up fast. Make an impact by checking out the networking tips below, or by signing up for a FREE webinar on How to Mix & Mingle at a Networking Event, taking place on April 24. Although it may be tough in the beginning, practice makes perfect, and Elevate 2019 is the perfect place to put your networking skills to work.
7 tips to network like a pro at Elevate 2019
Once the room is crowded, it can be hard to create a presence or approach people. Attendees are usually chatting in small groups, so it can be difficult to initiate a conversation. Join the event early, so you can meet people as they arrive.
Ask simple starter questions to get the conversation going
Once you approach someone, shake hands, introduce yourself, and ask a simple question to kick off the conversation. A light flowing discussion will usually start from there. Some starter questions to try at your next event include:
- “What did you think of the presentation?” (if there was one.)
- “Are you enjoying the food?”
- “Is this your first time at this event?” (And if yes, “What made you decide to attend?” or no, “What keeps you coming back?”).
If the conversation isn’t working, move on
If you can tell that a discussion is slowing down or perhaps you’ve been talking for a while, you can excuse yourself and continue to network.
Wind down the conversation by saying, “Nice meeting you; we should probably mingle more… thank you for chatting!” and let them go. Don’t feel like you have to stay in one conversation all night, there are more people to meet!
If you’re shy, work the outside of the room
Experts say that starting conversations with people on the outside perimeter of the room can be less-intimidating than trying to move into the crowded centre of the room. So if you’re looking for ways to ease into networking, try starting out in the outside areas of the event space.
Meet people in 1-2-3s
When first scanning the room for potential people to talk with, remember that singles will be the most welcoming. It’s easy to approach a person for a short one-on-one chat. Be mindful that groups of two are also easier to engage than groups of three or more. Read the body language of the group—pairs standing in a “V” formation are open to others joining, while face-to-face pairs are probably already locked in conversation. Larger groups in a “U” shape are easier to approach than those in a circle.
If you’re shy, let the other person do the talking
By beginning the discussion with a simple-starter question, you can let the person take the conversational lead. You can stay quiet, listen intently, and remain engaged. Ask follow up questions to keep the conversation going.
Have a buddy
Consider teaming up with a colleague to network as a duo. Having a partner can make it easier to get those conversations started and keep them going.