It's a new year full of resolutions, goals to achieve, and events to look forward to. If you've already started eating healthy or joined the new gym, way to go! Maybe you have a small business that you're looking to grow, or you're looking for a strategic partnership, or you are just wanting to meet more people in your industry.

We know that after almost two years of quarantine, minimal events, and Zoom calls, this is not an easy transition back to in-person gatherings. From figuring out what to wear to what to say and how to say it, gathering together can feel overwhelming. Regardless of your reasons for getting back out there, we have you covered when it comes to best networking practices.

  • 1. First and foremost, smile!

    A first impression only happens once, so make sure those around you know you are approachable. Body language, eye contact, and a kind smile go a long way.

  • 2. Ask open ended questions

    No one likes to answer a yes or no question and then be put on the spot to think of a new topic of conversation. Ask questions that begin with what, why, where, when, and how.

  • 3. Contacts second, friends first

    Connect with someone as if you were meeting a new friend. People are more likely to help, make an introduction, and do business with friends, not contacts.

  • 4. Be a connector

    Listen and let people speak. Share how you want to help people with your experience and connect them with others who might be able to help them. This will make you be memorable when others look back at the event.

  • 5. Understand the personality of who you are with

    A big part of meeting others is not coming on too strong. If you are an outgoing extrovert and you are with a quieter introvert, read the person you are with to set the tone of your conversation.

  • 6. Share your story

    Share why you wanted to get into your industry, how it is impactful to you, what you are passionate about, and why. People love to learn stories of what others do and how they've found success.

  • 7. Exchange your contact information

    Lastly, don't forget to gather contact information and follow up after meeting one another.

Once you've committed to attending your next networking event, define your goals and purpose for being there. Learn about who others are, share your story, and savor the time. Happy New Year and happy connecting!

Related Categories: Chamber, Membership, Events