5 Ways to Improve Networking at Events
Conferences, meet-ups, business events – They can all be lots of fun. Time off from the office, great food, interesting discussions and lots of booze, but we cannot forget what is really important about these events – Networking.
In order to be successful in business you need to be your own marketing agent and the best representative of your company. Socializing, talking about you and your company, building relationships is all part of marketing yourself and your business. Conferences and networking events provide the opportunity to get away from the work environment meet like-minded professionals in a casual atmosphere.
But why is it so important?
It is estimated that anywhere from 50-80% of business is generated from networking and word of mouth. This is quite a significant statistic.
Here are 5 easy ways to increase the effectiveness of your networking:
1. Be Genuine
While you should always prepare and practice answers to expected questions like “So what do you do?” you have to make sure they aren’t cliché and fake. On the other end of the spectrum, you want to make sure that your answers don’t sound pretentious – this is a huge turn off. Your goal is for every person you talk to, regardless of their industry, to understand and connect with what you’re saying.
2. Ask Open-Ended Questions
When doing sales, this is one of the first things you learn. In order to get the person talking, ask questions that cannot be answered by a simple yes or no; let the other person open up and talk about themselves – who doesn’t like talking about themselves?
As a general rule of thumb, “why” questions generate the most interesting answers and conversations.
3. Don’t Appear Desperate
Just as in dating, neediness is an incredible turn off when it comes to networking. So no matter how badly you need this partnership or strategic client, you’ve got to set that aside when interacting with others.
4. Don’t Be Selfish
All too often, entrepreneurs, sales people and job seekers go into a networking event thinking it’s their one shot to get X, Y or Z. By setting the stakes so high, you suck all the fun out of the event and put an inordinate amount of pressure on your shoulders.
Remember that you are there to add to the event, help others or just learn what other people are doing in their fields. This slight adjustment in thinking will increase your sense of purpose and pride. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself having a good time, developing strong relationships and attracting loads of referrals.
5. Meeting the Right People
While all of these tips are well and good, the question remains, in the sea of faceless walking networking opportunities, how do you find the right ones in the short amount of time you have?
Networking at an event is no easy task. These types of events can number from 200 to 2,000 people, how are you supposed to find the right connections in the short period of time you are there?
At MLOVE ConFestival Berlin this year this will not be a problem.
This year MLOVE will be using Bizzabo as its official networking app. Bizzabo lets you discover interesting attendees and connects you with the right contacts for you. The app cross references your LinkedIn profile with other event attendees and suggests who will be the most beneficial contact for you; it truly socializes the event experience.
All you need to do is download the app, search for MLOVE and join the event community (contact MLOVE team for password). Bizzabo will allow you to communicate with other attendees both before and during MLOVE, but most of all Bizzabo will help you make the right connections with the right people, saving you time and helping you build a network of beneficial contacts from all over the world.
So download the app now and get started with your networking right away.
See you in Berlin!
Post by Alon Alroy, Co-Founder of Bizzabo
About the Author
Co-Founder of Bizzabo
Alon is the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing & BizDev at Bizzabo, an early stage internet startup developing an award-winning networking app for events, conferences and meetups.
Prior to founding Bizzabo, Alon was a senior analyst and personal assistant to chairman at Plenum, a private investment bank. He also served as the Chief Operations Officer at AYADR Investments, dealing with and managing investments in real estate and high-tech markets.
Graduated with honors from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya , where he studied for a BA and LLB in Law & Business Administration and participated in the prestigious Zell Entrepreneurship program.
Alon is a scuba diver, snowboarder, aspiring poker player and a natural networker, fulfilling his passions for connecting people, technology and adventures.
Bizzabo is the official networking app for MLOVE ConFestival in Berlin.