Networking: Six Ways to Break the Ice
Networking is an integral part of any event. We all want to get the most out of the experience and build quality connections for the future. With that being said, it can be quite uncomfortable to stand in a crowded room and simply start talking to people. However, effective networking does not have to be a daunting task. A large part of networking has to do with how you approach a situation. Here are six effective networking tips to break the ice at an event.
Use a Simple Confident Approach
While this may seem simple and obvious, there really is not an easier way to start talking to someone at an event other than simply going up to them and starting a conversation. You are all professionals, therefore, going up to someone with a confident handshake and proper eye contact will always be a great way to start networking. If you feel too timid to approach someone in this manner just remember that everyone at the event most likely feels similarly to you and you’re all there for the same reason. If that’s not an issue, you might have trouble with what to say after an introduction, which brings us to the next tip.
Ask About Current and Previous Attendance
What’s great about Q1 Productions is that we have so many different events every year, most of which we’ve been hosting for years. This can be an easy conversation starter by simply asking someone if they have attended the event or a different event in the past. From there, the opportunity arises where you can start talking about the event you’re currently attending or discuss attending a future event. You really can’t go wrong in this strategy. If you find that the person you are talking to has not been to a previous Q1 Productions event, you can either tell them about other events you’ve attended, if that is the case, or, if it’s your first event, then you can start discussing the subject of the event and bond over attending for the first time.
Find Out Where They Are From
An effective way of getting to a know a person is to ask them where they are from. Since Q1 Productions hosts events in many cities across the U.S. and Europe, there is a good chance that the attendee isn’t from the city you are in. This is where you can either bond with someone if you’re from a different city, since you’ll have something in common, or if you’re from the same city you’ll have even more in common and it’ll probably be even easier to network and connect. Regardless of the response, you can find out where this individual is from, where they do business and a good sense if you’d be able to be in contact and network with this person in the future.
Connect Over Food
While each event is unique and discusses different topics, all events will provide some type of food during your event. If you’re more on the timid side and want a very simple chance to talk to someone, you should do it during lunch or dinner. During this time you tend to be more laid back and approachable as you are taking a break from conversing or learning. It’s a great time to go up to someone and asked them where they got a certain dish or if they like what they’re currently eating. Since no work is being done during this time, most people will be open to friendly discussion whether it’s about what’s happened at the event already or even off topic discussing each other’s life or business position.
Network with Multiple Attendees
When networking you need to realize that everyone else there is in the same position as you and also want to network. If you’re connecting really well with someone you may be tempted to keep talking to them for an extended period of time. Be aware of the time and realize that meeting a broader range of attendees at these events can result in more insight and perspective on the subject at hand, as well as building a larger network for yourself in the future. Simply exchange your contact information with them and proceed to get better at ice breakers as you approach other people.
Follow Up After the Event
It’s been a few days after you’ve attended the event and now is a good time to build on the connections you recently established. Make sure to add them on LinkedIn because it’s important to be connected on this professional site. However, many people send and receive connections every day. Sending your new connection a personalized message, by email for example, will definitely help them remember you – especially if you mention something that you talked about at the event.
We want you to have the best possible experience at Q1 Productions events. Effective networking can play a crucial role in your success in attending one of our conferences or forums. We strive to connect you with individuals that will help you learn and build upon your profession and industry knowledge. Implementing these simple yet useful tips will make sure you’re staying on track when attending one of our events.