Plan for the Event or Flounder
Rather than being there to eat the food and drink the drinks, planning before attending an event will change your view.
Have you ever attended an event and seen all the people gravitating towards the food and the drinks? That is the first thing people seem to go for. Well, it is natural, especially if you are there alone and do not know anyone. It seems that food and drink are there for comfort. It is really difficult to talk to anyone with a mouthful, so if you can, stay away from the food, but certainly go and get a drink. You can still give your pitch with a drink in hand.
Take a look at your calendar before you head off to one of these events. You will need to know from memory when you are free for a follow-up appointment. This is part of the preparation you need to do before getting there. Then you can make a date and know there is no conflict with other items on your agenda. Nothing is worse than setting an appointment and finding out that you already have scheduled someone else in that time slot. It may seem like a good excuse for a follow up, but it usually does not bode well with a potential client.
You do not want to partake of any conversation that is whining about some guy that can never get anything straight. Just remember that you are at the event for one purpose and one purpose alone - it is not to eat and drink - it is to gain new business relationships and maybe cement some of the existing ones you have. The more visible you are and the more prepared you are, then the more likely someone will want to talk to you. You should also plan on how to get into private conversations without barging in and losing the flow of information.
Have you ever gone to an event and not worn the correct attire? Part of planning an event (seeing who will be attending) is to also research the nature of the event. Does the weather have an effect on who attends? Does the required dress have an effect on where it is held? Who will be leading the event and how are they regarded? What attitude does the event portray? It all comes down to knowing your audience and researching the event before you attend.
Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://BlueprintBooks.com
Successful networking requires the understanding from the get-go that it is about what we can do for each other. Networking requires time, patience, and a commitment to helping others.
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