Networking Event Preparations

When going to a networking event, it's important to make sure you're prepared. You want to get the most out of the event so you can benefit from great connections and advice. My first networking event was super successful all because of these tips below, some of which come from my good friend Tori Molnar!

one // bring business cards
This is probably the most important one. I brought a lot of my business cards because I knew there was going to be 100+ women there. No one has the time to find a pen and paper to write down your information while at the event; it's much easier to just hand out your business cards to people. I handed out the majority of the business cards I brought, which was great! A lot of the women that I spoke with had forgotten to bring their business cards, which they were disappointed about. Handing out business cards is the easiest way to make sure you'll stay in touch with the wonderful people you meet!

two // talk to everyone
Depending on the size of the event, it may be hard to talk to everyone there. In that case, talk to as many people as you can. It's nice to have a good conversation with a group of people, but you don't want to talk to only that group the whole time because the purpose of a networking event is to meet as many people as you can! Find a way to politely move from group to group.

three // bring pens
When meeting so many different people at once, it's easy to get confused with which person is which. Was that girl the accountant or the business coach? When getting other people's business cards, it will be helpful to write down who they are and bits of the conversation you had with them to jog your memory when you follow up with them.

four // follow up in 24 hours
Follow up with each person who gave you a business card within the next 24 hours. Tell them that it was nice meeting them, mention a part of the conversation you had with them, and say that you hope to see them at another event soon. It's really impressive when you send a personalized message, and it's a good step in growing connections!

five // wear something fabulous
Unless you know the event requires business attire, you usually can get away with wearing jeans and a nice shirt or a dress/skirt; whatever works for you. You want to wear something that you feel great in because then you'll feel much more confident. And it's really important to feel confident when going to a networking event so you won't worry about jumping into a conversation with someone!

six // eat before
If you can, try to eat before the event. Unless the event specifies that there will be an actual brunch/lunch/dinner where everyone will be sitting down and eating, there will usually be just appetizers. It's awkward to leave a conversation to start eating when you're hungry, and then it will be harder to jump back into the conversation. Eating beforehand will prevent you from feeling hungry! There will also most likely be a cash bar there, but it's fine to get drinks because most people will be getting drinks too.

What advice do you suggest to prepare for a networking event?

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