Tag Archives: Brigitte

3 Networking Must-Do's

16 Jan

I was in Westboro, MA earlier this week attending the Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce‘s networking night.  The event was very well attended by local businesses with over 350 attendees mingling amongst the food, drinks and violin trio.  Very nice, very professional.  Best of all, I caught up with 2 Inquisix members, Rick and Brigitte.  Both knew the Inquisix story and articulated our benefits to other Chamber members.  Thanks!

Now that it’s been a few days since the event, I’m reminded again that many people attend these networking events without a plan.  Do they just show up for the free hors d’oeuvres and open bar?

Three (and only three) MUST-do’s at networking events:

  • Show Up – A surprising number of people attend these events and aren’t prepared.  Showing up means more than arriving.  Did you bring enough business cards to hand out?  Did you bring a pen to jot notes on the back of the cards you receive?  Can you articulate your message in 5 seconds?  There’s too much noise to get a 30 second elevator pitch across so get your message down to 5 seconds.  But the ones who had their 5 second pitch down?  Those people I remember!
  • Follow-up – Even more surprising is the number of people who exchanged cards and never follow up.  Again, why bother showing up?  Why not a simple email, “I enjoyed meeting you at the Chamber event last night and hearing what you do.  I had a chance to look at your website this morning.  Look forward to connecting to you at a future event.  All the best.”  That message is appropriate even if you don’t think the other person can help you.  Because you just never know when someone you’ve met will reach out to you.  Again, the people with the best 5 seconds all reached out to me later this week.
  • Give to Get – Still a shame with all the networking tips freely available on the web that people forget that giving begets getting.  The most active man in the room was Rick.  He spent his time introducing people in the room to each other.  If they had trouble articulating their message, he helped them.  If they forgot the first step in following up (collecting business cards), he gently offered his as a reminder.  Did Rick spend any time telling people what he did?  No, he led by example.

3 simple to-do’s.  No, 3 simple must-do’s.