April 21, 2015
Most people already know that networking events rarely yield the sorts of meaningful connections that help us build our businesses and enhance our lives. But there will still be times we are expected to show up. If you are attending an event, there are a few ways to ensure that you get something out of it. Having connection-enhancing tools like Connequity, plus a few ice-breaking techniques in your repertoire, can help you find your footing and enjoy the event.
1. Give a compliment.
Did you enjoy a presenter’s talk? Are you standing near someone at an information technology event who is wearing a particularly great geek or code t-shirt? Take a moment to say so. This is one of the simplest ways to start a conversation with a stranger and can help you feel more at ease when you are tense at the beginning of an event.
2. Ask a question.
Requesting someone’s opinion, whether it’s about a talk, the event or the venue is a great way to get started. Studies show that, to our brains, talking about ourselves is as rewarding as eating a favorite food. When you open up a conversation by inviting someone to share, that person will associate that good feeling with you.
3. Do a little homework.
It’s usually easy to find out a bit about an event’s hosts or the people who are giving presentations and workshops. Take some time to read industry pieces they’ve written and to scan their profiles on LinkedIn, You may find that you know someone in common or have worked with the same companies in the past. Of course, the great advantage of using a tool like Connequity is that it does the homework for you, making it very easy to reach out and have a conversation with people who have common professional and personal interests.
4. Make a few connections before you arrive.
Connequity makes it easy to find relevant business leads and referral sources online, and then making it easy to connect in over the phone or in person. So instead of the hassles of trying to find worthwhile business connections at an event, consider using events as a great place to meet up with your Connequity connections. You can arrange to meet up or simply say that, should they see you there, they should come over to introduce themselves in person. Chances are good that other people you talk to may also have some reservations about meeting new people, and they will welcome the invitation.
Even on the days that you don’t start out feeling your most sociable, it’s still worth it to reach out. The connections we make with others expand our opportunities and are rewarding in and of themselves. By making a stronger network, we build our businesses and add more meaning and pleasure to our lives.