Corporate events are a great place to increase your network. If you have never been to one of these events before keep an eye out, we often host networking events or business fayres. There is no need to be nervous and unsure about how to network effectively. There are a number of tips that you can use to ensure that you network like a pro.
Before you attend the corporate event, you need to do some homework to ensure that you are not going in blind. You should research all of the event attendees so you have an idea of who is going to be there. This will also help you determine who your target connections are. Not all attendees will be people you want to network with and this is very important.
While you are preparing, you should think about some icebreaker questions that will help to strike up a conversation. This will also help you avoid diving right into your own agenda. You also need to set some goals for your networking and the interactions with your target connections.
Create Your Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is one that piques the interest of your target connection while informing them about you and your business. It is important that you work out your pitch before you arrive at the event. When doing this, you need to keep in mind that the people you talk to will not know about you or your business.
This does not mean that you should have a long pitch that tells the person your whole history. You need to keep it short and to the point, while still sounding conversational. In the pitch, you should think about the problems that your business is solving and how this is helpful to the target connection. This is where the research you have done on the attendees will come in handy.
Research can only go so far and you still need to be able to establish rapport with the target connection. If you are unable to do this, you will have not made an impact and your networking will fall flat. To start building rapport, you need to ensure that your icebreakers make sense to the target connection.
You also need to allow the other person to do a lot of the talking. If you spend all the time talking about you and your business, you are not building rapport. You also need to pay attention to body language as you are talking. Keep your body language open and show that you are still interested in the conversation.
The key to networking is to pique the target connections interest with your elevator pitch and make a positive impression. People who build rapport with others will generally leave a better impression than those that do not. Of course, as part of your rapport, you will need to get some information from the connection so you can keep in touch and create a long-term relationship.
Networking is vital for many business people, but doing this at a corporate event can be daunting. These tips will help you plan for the event and ensure that your networking has a better chance of success.