With virtual business and networking being the norm, a few tips can ensure it’s a successful experience that’s worth your time.
- Prepare. Most events, our events included, have questions or icebreakers to help the participants engage and get to know each other. Know the questions ahead of time and prepare your answers so you can focus on listening to others not thinking about your answers on the spot.
- Using the chat box. Some event organizers utilize the chat box. We do. It’s a valuable tool for participants to exchange contact information. Prior to the event, have your name, business name and contact information pasted into Word or Notepad so all you have to do is paste it into the chat box at the right time.
- Have a dedicated ‘networking’ notepad. Okay, this may sound really old school. But seriously, if you have a dedicated notepad for your networking activities, it’s a goldmine of contacts you’ve met, interesting people to follow up with, your best takeaways from inspiring or motivating speakers, and connections to make with people you’ve met and people in your own personal or professional networks.
- Follow through. It has been said, “the fortune is in the follow up”. It’s true and it’s respectful to follow through if you made a commitment.
- Reciprocity – make the connection. Networking is all about making the connection, both for yourself and to help others. When you hear other participants speak, think of who you know that might be a good introduction, referral or connection for that person. Ask them if they’d like you to make the introduction. You may never know the positive impact just one introduction or connection can make in someone’s life.