How do you make the most out of a networking event?
As a regional partner, I have to attend a lot of networking events. But I don't think I'm able to fully utilize the opportunity.
How do I make sure I do what's expected of me and make the most out of these events?
To make the most of any networking event, you have to be an active participant. That is, you must contribute to the discussions raised within the network. This way, you would have registered your "Authority" in the network. This will then impact on your profile.
1. Be 100% clear on what you want to get out of the event.
2. Be specific in your ask.
3. Genuinely show interest in the people you talk to.
4. Have a couple of icebreaker questions ready to go.
5. Learn how to politely excuse yourself from a conversation.
6. Follow up.
You can make the most out of networking by avoiding either extreme. The deflective extreme is where the person is present but totally dissociated from networking at the event. On the other end is the hungry wolf extreme, where the professional is too direct and on-the-nose about getting something out of everyone.
I would recommend you visit the event and make your purpose to just be likable and memorable to most people you talk to [not everyone]. You are there to create leverage, by positioning yourself as someone they'd like to work with. And there is no other way to do this than to just be genuinely nice to be around.
Without exception, every single entrepreneur I've coached on this has returned with positive reviews. So try it. Forget everything about work, let go of the fear of missing out, and just literally be fun to be around. You'll be surprised by the effect your calls will have much later.