How to Network Effectively

Networking events can be a great way to make connections and potentially open up new opportunities for your career. However, attending a networking event without a plan can be overwhelming and unproductive. It’s important to be specific about who you want to meet at a networking event in order to make the most of your time and efforts.

First, consider why you are attending the networking event. Are you looking for a new job? Do you want to learn more about a specific industry? By identifying your goals, you can narrow down the type of people you want to connect with at the event. For example, if you are looking for a new job, you may want to meet with hiring managers or recruiters from companies that align with your interests and skills.

Next, do some research on the event and its attendees. Most networking events will provide a list of attendees or allow you to view profiles of other attendees. This can give you an idea of who will be at the event and who may be worth reaching out to. You can also reach out to the event organizers or other attendees directly to inquire about specific people you may want to connect with.

Once you have identified the people you want to meet, reach out to them directly and let them know you would like to connect at the event. This can be through email, social media, or even a phone call. By reaching out beforehand, you can schedule a specific time to meet and discuss your goals and interests. This can help ensure that you have a productive conversation and make a strong connection.

When you come to our events, we will often ask you who you want to meet. It’s a way we aim to ensure the event is beneficial for you and it’s a question on our sign-in sheet. That way we have a record so if the person you want to meet isn’t at that particular event, we can quickly remember your request and introduce you afterward. We think of this as intentional networking that makes the most of your time.  

Bree’s classic example is about a realtor…

Realtor: I want to meet someone buying or selling a house. 

Bree: Hmmm… I know a lot of people although I’m not sure who’s considering moving. How about a family attorney or counselor? They know a lot of people going through life transitions who may benefit from talking with a realtor. 

Realtor: Great! 

In addition to being specific about who you want to meet, it’s also important to prepare for the networking event. This means doing your homework and researching the attendees, practicing your elevator pitch, and bringing business cards or other materials to share with potential connections. By being prepared, you can make a good impression and stand out from other attendees.

In conclusion, being specific about who you want to meet at a networking event can help you make the most of your time and efforts. By identifying your goals, doing your research, reaching out to potential connections, and preparing for the event, you can make valuable connections and potentially open up new opportunities for your career.