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Networking at Events and Conferences

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

The inspiration for this blog comes from a valuable experience we had recently when we were commissioned to create a networking strategy and a networking experience for the G20 Summit and the YEA Summit in New Delhi.



To help attendees network more effectively, we designed an audio course for them to listen to before the conference.


If you're here, it's likely because networking at events and conferences interests you.


Networking at events and conferences can be incredibly valuable, but often, people attend these gatherings, meet new contacts, and then struggle to make meaningful connections or extract real value from the experience.


If you've experienced this issue, you're not alone. Many people attend conferences, exchange business cards, and then fail to follow up effectively.



In this blog, we aim to change that by providing strategies for networking success at events and conferences.

 

The Three-Part Networking Plan


To succeed at networking events and conferences, you must plan and divide your networking efforts into three key phases: Before, During, and After.

 

Before the Event : Defining Success and Building the Right Mindset


Before attending an event or conference, you must clearly define what success means to you. Success might involve creating new business opportunities, making contacts, or achieving specific goals. However, it's essential to recognize that conferences are not about closing deals on the spot but about making valuable connections.


You should aim to set both transactional and relational goals.


Building the right mindset is crucial. Networking should not be about seeing attendees as potential prospects but as individuals with whom you can build relationships. When people perceive that you genuinely care about them and their needs, your chances of success increase.


During the Event : Approach, Engage, and Connect


During the event, avoid becoming a "card-dispensing machine" who delivers elevator pitches to everyone you meet. Instead, start conversations by showing genuine interest in the other person. Ask questions about their interests, motivations, and experiences. Building likability and rapport should be your goal.


Taking notes during these conversations can be highly effective. You can either jot down notes on business cards or use a note-taking app on your smartphone. This practice will help you remember key details about your interactions and enable you to follow up effectively.



After the Event : The Power of Follow-Up

The real success in networking at events and conferences comes from what you do after the event. It's essential to follow up with your new contacts promptly.


Send a simple gratitude message to the people you met at the event, acknowledging the conversations and connections you made. If business opportunities were discussed, follow up quickly and make it a priority. Don't procrastinate, as delaying your follow-up can lead to missed opportunities.

 

After the event, the power of follow-up can't be overstated.


To learn more about effective follow-up strategies and how to make the most of the connections you've built, consider joining our upcoming



This workshop is designed to help you turn your networking interactions into tangible opportunities.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, networking at events and conferences is a valuable strategy for expanding your business and building meaningful connections.


By dividing your networking efforts into before, during, and after the event, setting clear goals, building a relationship-focused mindset, and following up effectively, you can make the most of your networking opportunities.


Remember that networking is about people and building relationships, not just collecting business cards.


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