Network by Attending Events

“It’s all about who you know.” Chances are, you’ve heard that expression before. Meeting new people is crucial for your career development… That means learning how to establish — and maintain — a network to deepen your job prospects. Having a well-established network can make or break your job prospects…. And one of the best ways to meet the right people is by going to events!

Here are three key ways to reap the benefits of events:

  1. Stand out from the crowd by being part of the event. When networking, you’re vying for connections… and to get connected, you need to be interesting and memorable. Find a way to be a part of the event by being a volunteer, session facilitator, or even speaker. Going behind the scenes provides you with visibility that sets you apart from the crowd… and can give you some insight into how those types of events work.

  2. Set Specific Event Goals and Objectives. It’s important to go into any business-related event with a goal in mind. Examples of objectives are meet 3 new people, learn about a specific topic, etc.

  3. Reflect Post EventYou want to remember everything you experienced! Take some time after each event that you attend to jot down who you met, what you learned, etc.  Take the time to write down the connections you’ve made, and set a plan to follow up via email, LinkedIn, or any platform you can use to connect to them. The follow up is key… it doesn’t matter if you get the business card if you don’t get the relationship!

The most important thing: Connect with people!

  1. Connect with people you already know. If you know friends, colleagues, or customers that are attending, connect with them and make sure you spend some time with them at the event. You’ll feel more comfortable around someone you know, which will help you loosen up around those you don’t… especially if you’re being introduced by a mutual friend.

  2. Connect with new people. Don’t be afraid to speak with new or important people… after all, the whole reason you’re there is to get connected! Say a simple hello, or set yourself apart by asking them questions about their career. Even just making small talk will foster a connection you wouldn’t have had otherwise. Once you shake hands with them in person, you can follow up by connecting on LinkedIn.

Action

  • Use Career Companion: Career Playbook > Experience: Events and plan out all your events for the next 2-3 months. Add ones you have already been to in the past few months.

  • Before each event, reflect on specific goals for that event

  • After each event, reflect on what you learned, whom you met, etc.