Do you want to build new business connections? Do you want to find potential customers or collaborators for your business? If so, you need to attend business networking events in your region.
Now, we know business networking brings up a lot of uncomfortable feelings in your mind. The need to make small talk, meeting sleazy salespersons, not being able to keep up with the conversation, people forcing their business cards, and more. Business networking events can seem like a drag and difficult to attend.
But not if you apply the right strategies at such events. Business networking events can be a wonderful way to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs and meet potential customers or people who can collaborate with you. You may find someone with the right skill set to drive one of your business functions in the right direction.
Business networking events allow you to build relationships with others in the same industry. And without it being too painful.
Here are 5 ways or strategies that can help you get the best results at business networking events.
Find the Right Business Networking Event
Every business networking event is different. Hence, you must find a business networking event that suits you.
If you have family obligations during non-working hours, find a business networking event during the daytime, such as lunch or morning tea. Not a big fan of early meetings? Try to find business networking events in the evening or a sundowner event. Avoid networking events at breakfast.
You can find business networking events on websites like Meetup or Eventbrite. You can also connect with the local chamber of commerce and industry to find out about any business networking events in the region.
Moreover, some events might not be explicitly named business networking events, but fundamentally they are still business networking events. For example, industry conferences, business workshops, speaking events, golf days, and local events organized by government forums. All these events are a good way to meet new business connections and build relationships.
Create Your Own Business Networking Event
Unable to find a business networking event that suits you? Create your own event!
You can always plan and organize a business networking event on your own and call potential business professionals. Creating your own business networking event offers you several benefits, such as helping your business get recognized in the market, helping you create brand awareness, and more.
Moreover, when creating a business networking event on your own, you get to decide the theme of the event, something that interests you as a business professional. For example, you might be interested in sharing and gathering information on digital marketing skills, working on some tech ideas, or getting technical help from like-minded people. You get more control over the business networking event.
To promote your event, you can post about tickets and venues on Eventbrite or Meetup. You can also promote it on Facebook groups if you have a substantial following. If you are unable to create an offline business networking event, you can also create an online business networking event.
Although online events don’t have the benefits of face-to-face meetings, they are still a great way to build business connections.
Adjust Your Attitude
Business networking events aren’t meant for hard selling your services; instead, they are purely meant to build business relationships.
Hence, get to know people in such an event beyond the superficial information. Get to know if you have any common interests or goals. This is a good way to find out a lot about each other. You may also find business professionals who have similar types of customers as your business. You can also share information regarding any workshops or training programs you might have attended to better your business.
Apart from sharing the right kind of information, you must also pay close attention to how long you interact with someone. You can’t use all your networking time talking to a single person during the whole event. You need to interact with multiple people at the event. Learning this might take some time, but once you do, you can make the most of your business networking.
Always remember to ask for business cards after you are done interacting.
There is no point in attending business networking events if you don’t follow up with those connections.
Connect with them again via calls, emails, or professional networking platforms like LinkedIn. Remind them how much you enjoyed interacting with them at the event. Share more information on the topic you were talking about during the event.
Invite them to any other networking event you might be attending or catch up for a cup of coffee.
This will help you maintain a good business relationship with the professionals you meet.
You need to be consistent when attending a business networking event. You can’t just attend one event and be done with it!
Instead, you must consistently keep finding business networking events that suit you, put them in your calendar, and attend them to increase your business relevance. Also, determine which business events offered you the best experience and helped you form quality relationships.
Wrapping it Up
Attending business networking events can seem daunting and energy consuming, especially for introverted individuals who aren’t comfortable with crowds. But once you start attending such B2B networking events, you will get the hang of it.
If you are still unsure about the right way to attend business networking events, you can get in touch with us at Keystone Executive Coaching. We are a team of passionate and experienced business coaches who offer training programs for entrepreneurs.
We can help you streamline different business functions such as sales, marketing, networking, hiring, finances, and more. Contact our team to know more.