Networking is a socioeconomic business activity by which businesspeople and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures. Networking has now become an important part of business and marketing.
It increases sales and promotion of the business and helps it to operate well.
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Benefits for business owners of getting involved in networking
|Generation of referrals/Increased business|
|Raising Your Profile|
|Satisfaction of Helping Others|
A conference is a meeting of people who “confer” about a topic. Conference types include Academic conference, in science and academic, a formal event where researchers present results, workshops, and other activities. In this case, we’re talking about blogging and internet marketing events/conferences.
Conferences are a very important part of a business. It is treated as an integral part of every association and company.
Networking isn’t just something you do during an event. It is a process you must take part in before, during, and after. Networking leads to new business opportunities and new relationships. It’s paramount to your career and business.
Conferences provide excellent business opportunities if you know how to network effectively. At a conference with dozens or hundreds of people, it’s difficult to know where to start. Go in with the intention of making several meaningful connections instead of trying to meet every person or impress the big names. When you leave the conference, you’ll have a list of people with whom you can continue building strong business relationships.
To help attendees, sponsors, and speakers prepare to connect and grow their networks this weekend at the Tribe Conference, or any other conference for that matter, I would like to share some tips on networking like a pro at a conference.
1. Practice your elevator pitch
Practice your elevator pitch before you go. Who are you? What do you do? Why are you attending the Blogging Conference?
You will be asked these questions, so rehearsing your answers ahead of time will help you prepare your thoughts. Plus, you might discover another reason why you are attending that you hadn’t considered.
2. Show up early
Try to get to the conference early, and stand near the registration table, entrance, or food area. These are the places where people congregate.
When you first arrive, solo attendees will especially be seeking a friendly connection. Don’t let them become wallflowers.
Also, consider approaching sponsors and introducing yourself. A casual conversation with a conference sponsor led to my book deal.
3. Express interest in others
Be more interested in other people than yourself.
4. Ask questions
Ask questions, and actively listen to the answers. Use eye contact and body language to show you are listening. Don’t let yourself look under confident.
5. Talk to strangers
Forget what your parents taught you. Everyone is there for a similar reason. You are all sharing the same experience.
A good icebreaker is to ask someone what they thought of a particular speaker or who was their favorite speaker of the day.
6. Be personable
Use a person’s first name several times as you are speaking to help you remember it.
7. Take notes
Take notes on a person’s business card about your conversation to refer to later. Can you help this person? Who should you introduce them to? Don’t forget to bring your cards, too.
8. Keep it fresh
Things can get stale during conferences. Bring mints and gum to keep your breath fresh. It will also help in boosting your morale and will make you look presentable.
9. Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water, and go easy on the alcohol. Drinking water helps to clear your throat and stay calm during stressful situations. It also works in boosting your energy level and confidence.
10. Stay connected
Follow up with each person you meet after the conference. Staying in touch is a crucial part of networking.
Follow up with a pleasant email, remind them what you spoke about, offer them a link to an interesting article, connect on LinkedIn, or schedule a “no agenda” coffee meeting.
11. Have concrete goals in mind.
You can’t talk to everyone at a conference, so it’s a good idea to go in knowing what you want to get out of it. Do you hope to find an “in” that will eventually lead to a job offer? Do you want to garner more business for your company? Perhaps you simply want to meet people in your line of work and foster a deeper connection with others in your industry.
Your goals will influence which panels you attend and which people you seek to meet. Instead of just going with the flow, plan out your time so you’re utilizing each hour to work toward your goals.
Remember that you’ll be more successful if you’re open to other people’s pitches instead of just trying to push your own agenda on people. Getting to know people is a good goal in and of itself since it leads to long-term relationships that just don’t happen if you’re tossing out as many business cards as possible without taking time to have real conversations.
12. Research the attendees.
It’s important to know who your fellow attendees will be and what their specializations, business, or expertise are. In particular, look up the people who will be presenting at the conference. They are the influencers who can help you get better connected to your industry, or who may even be able to share ideas with you or give you a little time to talk through projects you’re working on.
Take the time to visit the presenters’ websites and learn about their backgrounds. If you’re aiming to network with someone working for a company, research the company’s background, including its history and age, mission, achievements, and principal staff.
If the big names floor you, and you’re feeling intimated by the thought of being surrounded by experts, take a deep breath and think about the opportunity that stands before you.