Last week I had the pleasure of co-leading our big New York City networking event. We had over 80 attendees in the room who, “paid to play” or were card-carrying members!
The networking group is a “vetted by invitation only” group, which means everyone that attends the events must be approved before even being invited.
The approval (or lack thereof) is based on a number of factors including nature of the business, experience and reputation in that business, type of relationship the suggested guest has with the individual making the recommendation, and overall networking acumen. There’s more to it than that, but you get the idea.
Combine that with some open networking, targeted breakout groups, and facilitated activities and that’s a nice room to be in if you’re a networker and serious about growing your business.
There’s always so much to do that I often don’t get a chance to network at my own events!
Will the champagne go out on time? Is everybody mingling? Who hasn’t checked in? Who has checked in? Who is not on the roster? Who needs a table change? Who doesn’t know where to go? Who is registering at the door? Who needs to meet whom? Did I put my tie on?
I’m always so preoccupied when I’m leading these events that I rarely get the chance to ask the members, board members, and those I’m first meeting what I’m supposed to be asking. There’s so much MORE I should be accomplishing other than leading a great event.
- More about your work.
- More about that last vacation.
- More about that book you just wrote.
- More about your business goals.
- More about your networking goals.
- More about fun things you have planned.
- More about your interests.
- More about how I can be a resource for you.
When networking, we sometimes miss the “more”, which means the opportunities to connect, reconnect, learn, help, show genuine interest, and connect (did I say that already?) might be lost.
Whether you’re leading an event or attending for the first time, do a little homework before getting to the event. Figure out who might be in attendance, who you know, who you want to know, why you want to know them, and write some notes down on a few index cards.
Have one card represent the list of people you already know and what you might need to say to them. Who had a child recently? Took a trip? Landed a new role? Lost a loved one? Moved?
Have another index card representing those you might want to know and why. Then write down questions you would ask them about their business, personal life, family life, and some of their goals for the summer, quarter, year, whatever.
Ever struggle to remember someone’s name? Well, with this level of preparation, you’ll have a much easier time recalling names and increasing your level of confidence.
Visualize how you will introduce yourself, ask questions, listen, react, offer to help, follow up, have fun, and how much success you will have working the room.
Now you’re prepared to do more, be more, and accomplish more!
Let me know if you need more from me! Happy to be in your corner!