Make sure you choose appropriate networking events relevant to your industry. If you’re a plumber, why on earth would you go to the ‘Beauticians Bimonthly Breakfast’? I made that group up by the way so don’t go looking to attend it! Now 10% of you will be thinking of a definite stereotypical reason to go to the Beauticians Breakfast, in which case, networking is not for you. Try and ensure the people you will be networking with are relevant to your industry or else you’re pretty much wasting your time and money.
2) Structure and Facilitation
We are quite fond of structure here at Thrive. Personally, there is nothing worse than walking into a room full of people on your own and you know no one. May as well just turn around and go home. Try and sneak a sandwich out on your way. You may be the most experienced and well known professional in your field of work but I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t feel even slightly nervous attending events with no structure or facilitation. Far too much effort in my opinion! An event that provides a bit of a schedule is like doing a multiple choice test in school. It’s just too easy.
So, you’ve chosen a specific event you’re going to go to that seems adequate to your requirements but you have no clue who’s going along. Don’t just wait until you get the delegates list post-event and realise you completely missed someone vital to your revenue going up a good £100,000.
Do a bit of snooping!
Call up or email the event organiser, be polite, throw in a bit of charm and ask if they could send you a list of who they are expecting, pretty please.
If you know there’s no structure to the event however you do know Mr. Important is going and you absolutely must talk to him, again, throw on the charm and ask the wonderful event organisers for an introduction!
Finally, for God’s sake please make a note in your diary or your online calendar or whatever you use that you have in fact booked yourself on to this event and even better, set a reminder! Believe it or not, there is a 30% ‘no show rate’ for every event hosted. Fact. Typical excuses; “I forgot” and “something came up.” Time management people! This is business isn’t it?! If you absolutely cannot make it, try and send along a colleague so at least your ticket isn’t wasted.