Ah, that lovely word, networking. Some people are just born for it. Mingling, chatting, engaging in strategically-motivated small talk. However, it’s not for everyone – and that’s the first ‘tip’, of sorts, to remember. Therefore, if you’re one of the many who see a room full of people and don’t immediately want to jump right in, here are some more dos and don’ts to follow.
Don’t see it as networking
Instead, imagine it’s a busy bar, sports ground or somewhere where the sight of so many people doesn’t feel as threatening. You’re just a person, meeting other people – and everyone is in the same boat.
Don’t expect a thing
No doubt you’ll have some sort of strategy (just like everyone else in there!), but if you go in with fewer expectations, you’re more likely to feel rewarded when it’s over and done with.
Don’t worry about saying the wrong thing
If a conversation suddenly dries up, it’s not your fault. It’s nothing you’ve said or done, it’s that simple human fact that, just like in dating, not everybody is compatible with everyone else.
Although practice might not make networking perfect, per se, networking will become more tolerable as you practice it more often. You can even practice queuing in the supermarket, and at other, less strategic social events.
Do meet the right groups
Some people will throw themselves into any networking opportunity, even if the crowd is only vaguely related to what they do. However, you stand a far better chance of being part of the conversation if you know what it’s actually about!
Do exchange business cards
Having a business card handy is not only essential for leaving your imprint on the right people, as it can also be a great escape route if you’re feeling uncomfortable. “Well, great to meet you, have you got a business card?” may be the most effective phrase you own!
If you’re looking for a fantastic location for networking in the North East, be sure to check our conferencing facilities here at Chester-le-Street Cricket Club. With suites, lounges, catering options and fully-stocked bars, we welcome businesses from across the region – and invite you to invite as many lovers and haters of networking as you desire. Call 0191 388 3684 for more information.