If you’re new to the business world or just haven’t been to many networking events before, it can all seem a bit daunting to attend your first networking group session. For a lot of people, approaching people to talk about business can see really scary at first and it can be tempting to stand in the corner waiting for people to talk to you. However, networking sessions are a really valuable tool for new businesses, so getting the most out of your first session and being able to fight off those nerves is really important. We’ve got a few tips to help you out and make sure you leave your networking session feeling like you’ve taken something great from it.
Know what you want to get out of it
If you’re looking to do some more business networking, there must be a reason that first drew you to the idea. Whether you’re looking to boost awareness of your brand to other businesses or get to know other local business owners in the area, come with a clear objective of what you would like to get out of the session. If you’re particularly anxious, just speaking up and engaging in conversation could be your target!
If the thought of mingling with a large group of people doesn’t seem like your cup of tea, make sure you get there early. If you’re one of the first people to arrive, you can introduce yourself to everyone and get a conversation started without too many people being there. As people arrive, you can introduce yourself to them as well and by the time the entire group is there, you will already know everyone, which will make the rest of the event a lot easier.
Give out cards
It might seem like an obvious one, but having some well designed business cards will give you a confidence boost and you can give them out to everyone you meet as a conversation starter. Other businesses will be a lot more likely to remember you if you hand over a good quality business card than if you just write down your email address on a scrap of paper.
Don’t be afraid to follow up with people you meet at the group the next day. If people have given you their card, pop them a quick email to say hello and continue the conversation outside of the event. If you’ve talked in more detail with someone about something in particular, make sure you get their contact details and don’t be afraid to reach out to them in the future for more guidance or advice.
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