How many times have you looked at the clock only to count down the time, dreading to attend yet another networking event?
Ahh, I really don’t feel like going to this event tonight, you say. But as a startup creativepreneuer you have to go. Even as a seasoned #creativeboss it’s important to continue networking and building your brand.
So, how do you survive and make the most out of yet another networking event?
First off, if at all possible, become an A+ lister at the event. Be a guest speaker; get on a panel; be a sponsor—anything within “reason” and “budget” that will put you in the spotlight. After all, you are going for a reason, so don’t forget what that reason is: to be seen and heard!
Swap social media info. E-mails, handles, social pages. For those people still using business cards, keep a jar at home, throw them in there, and in your downtime upload their e-mails to your mailing list and contact info to your database.
Prepare in advance. Draft your “Nice meeting you, let’s connect soon” e-mail in advance.
If you have work the next day or other obligations do as much nighttime prep as possible so when you come home it’s straight to bed you go.
Know why you’re there. Why are you here? To gain brand awareness, secure clients, and build partnerships. Know the reason and then work on a pitch to introduce to people.
Dress to impress. Comfortable but stylish. Wear something that speaks to your personality and brand but that you won’t want to take off within the next hour. If you’re working during the day, it helps to wear an outfit that you can transition from day to evening with a simple change (i.e., of shoes, add a blazer, etc.).
How do you prepare and handle the aftermath of a networking event?