At a networking event, there are times when you know no one at the event. You begin to panic and find someone you know. This is ok, it allows you to observe others at the event and possibly find someone to talk to. Try not to get too comfortable in your circle of familiar faces. If you find yourself talking with people you know for fifteen minutes or more, your are “comfortably” networking.
Networking is to exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically : the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business (Thank you Merriam-Webster!). Note the word “productive“. To have a conversation with people you see once a week is not necessarily productive at the event. Here are some ways to nip “comfort” networking:
1. Ask Questions
In your group of those you know well, ask about other attendees at the event. You never know who could be at the event.
2. Get An Introduction
After some minutes have passed and you have observed the activity at the event, ask for an introduction. You will be impressed by the people who are connected to one another.
At most networking events, you cannot see everyone from where you are standing. Mingle around the event, your eye might catch a familiar name or a name tag that interests you.
4. Remember Your Mission
Remember the reason why you are attending this event. Did you attend looking for someone specific? Do not forget what you are there for.
5. Be A Connector
You may know two people at the event who need to connect. This is a good time to remove yourself from your comfortable circle and connect your two people together in a different circle of people.
Do you find yourself “comfortably” networking? What do you do to make it more productive?
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