With the 10 to Watch Awards coming up on Wednesday, May 24th in downtown Portsmouth (get your tickets here!), Catapult Seacoast’s biggest networking event of the year, I thought it would be helpful to share some tricks you might not think about that will help you get the most out of your networking events.
Whether you’re going to the 10 To Watch Awards or another networking event this month, it’s important to be strategic. Having a game plan going into your event will allow you to brand yourself more effectively, make a great impression, and open yourself up to new opportunities Here are some things you’re probably not doing at networking events (but really should):
Sharing a personal branding statement.
When you introduce yourself to someone new, what do you say? Do you say something like, “Hi, my name is Jay,” or do you say something like, “Hi, my name is Jay! I’m a digital marketer who thrives on helping companies brand themselves online. My goal is to help more companies in the Seacoast area bring their branding to the next level”?
When you introduce yourself, it’s important to give the other person an idea of who you are, what you do, and what your goals are in your career. Not only does this give people a clear idea of what you have to offer, but it also jump starts your conversation. It’s great branding for you as a professional.
Meeting at least three new people.
It’s tempting to show up at networking events and stay within your comfort zone – aka, only talking with people you already know. While it’s important to catch up with colleagues, old friends, and other acquaintances (see below), it’s equally as important to meet new people while you’re at the event.
If you’re shy or get super anxious about meeting people at networking events, you’re not alone. However, you’re not doing yourself any favors by showing up at the event, standing alone in the corner, and leaving after you finish your first (and only) beverage. Instead, make it into a game. Challenge yourself to meet at least three new people before you leave the event. Make it a goal. This will help you break out of your comfort zone and gain confidence in yourself, and allow you to really get the most out of networking events.
Catching up with people you already know.
Yes, it’s very important to meet new people during networking events. That’s how you expand your network and open yourself up to new opportunities. With that said, it’s also very important to reconnect with the people you already know. This is called nurturing your network. The more you get to know the people within your network, the more you’ll know about each other, trust each other, and want to help each other. So, when opportunities arise, you’ll know who to call.
Join Us For The 10 To Watch Awards!
Register for the fourth annual 10 To Watch Awards, which will be held at 3S Artspace in downtown Portsmouth on Wednesday, May 24th from 6-9 p.m. Come celebrate and honor all of the finalists in the 10 To Watch competition, which honors great young professionals in the Seacoast area. All are welcome to join, network, and listen to our guest speaker, Governor Chris Sununu. Tickets cost $10 per person online. REGISTER NOW!