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Networking or Notworking there's plenty of opportunity out there but use your time wisely..


Categories: Networking

Networking - I'm sure we've all, at some point in our lives, been asked by our boss to one event or another, or at least been advised to network. In my experience either makes people shiver at the thought of talking to a bunch of strangers or makes them grab a stack of business cards with joy (that's me). Yes, networking is up there with Marmite, love it or hate it, networking is one of the best things you can do no matter what walk of life or industry you walk from there will be the right network event for you. And this is the reason why researching the best event for you is imperative to a successful use of your time. My advise is to "ASK" - Ask your peers ask the organiser and ask your clients... Ask your peers: You will get an honest answer. Even better find out who's the most active 'networker' and they will be able to give you tips on the best venues with the best attendees for whatever your objective may be. Even better still they may be going to an event where you can go as their guest and have a bit of guidance if networking is new to you and help build up your confidence - because to be honest networking is a little bit like the dating scene. Ekkk yep like dating. For example you meet someone you like or you'd like to do business with, then chances are you'll build a good relationship and hopefully a fruitful happy one that would then turn into referrals and so on (you get the picture). Unfortunately, there are also going to be moments just like dating where you will need to swap pleasantries to Mr or Mrs random , take my advice - try not to waste more than 10 minutes talking to someone you'll never do business with. The way I combat this very common situation is to be prepared for who will be there... Ask the organiser: Ok, organisers want to sell you a ticket however in order to make sure this is the right event for you before you take valuable time out of the office it is essential to ask them for an attendee list if not for the upcoming event to plan to attend but for previous ones. Or an idea is to ask for details on the industries of their members. I would check LinkedIn and look for comments of past events and who's made the comments and THEN who they are connected to.. Ask your clients: Chances are their competitors will be also be at the same event and possibly their clients too so this is a perfect opportunity for you to understand your market and a chance to meet that MD you have been trying to pin down for weeks. In my experience networking at night is much more productive. Personally I am not a morning person and not in the best mood to be networking at 7:30am - lunchtime events you'll find people checking their watches to make sure they're not overlapping the afternoon client meeting. After hours your fellow networkers are likely to be relaxed and chatty, ready to share the news of their day - and of course a glass of wine always helps things along! So enjoy meeting your next client and enjoy making new friends, after all it should also be fun, that's what the free canap├ęs are there for! Happy networking! Friends of ours: http://www.businessintroductions.co.uk http://www.pro-manchester.co.uk/events.html http://www.insidermedia.com/events/regional-business-events http://www.downtowninbusiness.com http://www.manchesterdigital.com/events


Author

Danielle Bramall

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