Opportunities arise when you network at events. Opportunities come from people. The more people you know the more opportunities you have.

Nobody works alone. It is both ineffective and inefficient. We work with other people to reach a common goal. By working with others, we build relationships with them which determines our future success.

Notice the top names in your field. You may see a trend on how they conduct their networking. For marketers, you can see them hopping from one event to the next – delivering talks, sponsoring events, setting up booths. And underneath it all is the ultimate goal of meeting new people and networking with them.

One of my personal rules when I network at events is gaining at least 3 business cards from 3 people that I aim to meet onsite.  This works for me so I can focus my energies and gaining the maximum benefit at an event. The more targeted I am, the better I will be able to pitch the social and digital marketing work we do at Third Team Media or the personal advocacies that I have.

Of course, you can set a higher target for yourself. Or, you can adjust it depending on the length of the event, too. And you definitely cannot do this without bringing your own set of business cards to give out to the people you just met. Not bringing business cards is a big taboo when you network at events.

So, why should you build your network at events? Here are some reasons why and how to effortlessly do so:

Network at Events to Create Lasting Impressions

People will more likely do business with those they trust. Networking gives you the opportunity to build relationships with the right people. Continue to connect with new people and cultivate emerging relationships.

Effortlessly do so by:

Dress to impress and be memorable. And of course, bring your well-printed business cards.

Network at Events to Generate New Ideas

Meeting business people with different backgrounds will give you new perspectives and a whole lot of knowledge. It’s also a good opportunity to learn how entrepreneurs from other industries do their business.

Effortlessly do so by:

Ask questions. People love being asked about their expertise. Do this for exhibitors and speakers you like.

Network at Events to Find Suppliers and Future Employees

One perk of having huge networks is having connections. If you ever need an HR Manager, Web Designer or a Copywriter, chances are you’ll be able to find one in your network. If not, surely somebody can give you recommendations.

Effortlessly do so by:

Asking them where they are connected and if they are there long. Some of them might mention that they are already looking for other opportunities.

Network at Events for Word-Of-Mouth Recommendations

The more people that know you and what you do will get you more referrals. This is important because according to research done by Nielson more consumers rely on the recommendations given by their friends and family.

Effortlessly do so by:

Getting back to people you meet after the event. Don’t forget to say hi and drop them an email.

Network at Events to  Develop Communication Skills

Introducing yourself and your brand to strangers can be intimidating. But this teaches you how to get your message across the best way possible. Knowing how to sell yourself in a quick elevator pitch is an important skill to have.

Effortlessly do so by:

Having a set of questions ready to open conversations. A simple – How are you today? – might work. Then steer the conversation from there.

Remember, you’re not just “networking” you’re “building your network.”  

You’re making connections with the right people. You’re investing in yourself, your career and in your brand. When an opportunity presents itself, take it. Always be open to new people and growing your relationships. So go out there and network at events. 🙂