Yes, we’ve all been through it.
It’s 10 minutes after we were meant to have left for the event but our hair isn’t done, the shoes we wanted to wear seem to have disappeared and where are our business cards?
If you are an unnatural networker like me then you may find it just too much and decide that tonight is not the night, go back to the living room and sit this one out.
However, if you had a better start to the evening you could find the event to be a huge success for your business. Why should you have to rush? Having a process for each event could help save you from times like these.
Four fail-safe tips for successful networking
1. Finish work a little earlier – that may sound awful to you but you need to give yourself time to get in the zone. Have dinner (as otherwise you will be by the food table all night, not a good look!), choose the outfit and don’t try anything new with your hair, trust me, I’ve done it and an hour later I have had to start all over again, not a good look to be stressed and late because of a bad hairdo!
2. Look over the guest list – if you have an event host that is well prepared they will have sent you a list, make sure you know who you want to talk to and try to connect with them on LinkedIn and Twitter the day before and say hello.
3. Have a networking bag – this is one of my favourite tips, and a great reason to go bag shopping! Have a bag that is prepped and ready for each event. It has your business cards, mints/chewing gum, lipstick, perfume and your paper diary (remember to make sure it is completely up to date before you leave). This makes sure you are not the person going round who forgot your business card, there’s always one, don’t let it be you!
4. Plan your route to the event – make sure you know exactly how to get there, input the time for traffic problems and where the closest parking spots are. No need for any last-minute hair-pulling because you have no space to park or couldn’t find the location!
Using these 4 fail-safe tips you will find that your event will be so much more enjoyable.
You will be prepared and ready to take on the group with a smile. You are prepared with plenty of time and thus are there to enjoy the time. You know who you want to speak with, you have the diary ready for the one-to-one’s and you didn’t get lost!
How do you prepare for your big networking events? Are you forever rushing around or do you have time saved in the diary for pre-event requirements?