November 2022 – 6 Min Read
Networking events are back and better than ever. From sweatworking to charity balls and supper clubs to running clubs, there is an event for everyone these days and over at NSTR, we are big fans of networking and getting the opportunity to meet amazing people who are experts in what they do!
But what if you really want to hop on the networking trend and desire meeting new people, but the thought of it all is just too daunting? Well, you aren’t alone. The nerves and anxiety before an event are perfectly normal. Whether you are attending in a group or on your own, it’s common to feel this way, with over 8 million people in the UK experiencing the same feelings before a social event.
So, to help more people feel comfortable when attending social events, NSTR have put together some of our top tips on how to nail your events and what to do afterwards.
But first, let’s look at why networking events are important, and what you can gain from them.
Well, the saying ‘the more the merrier’ is undoubtably appropriate here. Networking events are the perfect way to meet people you may never have had the opportunity to engage with, and these people could have a huge positive impact on your career and/or personal life. The more people you know, the more doors open to new opportunities.
Maybe you’ve just moved to a new city and want to meet some new people; Perhaps you are thinking of leaving your current job and want to see what else is out there; Or maybe you just want to go to an event with friends or colleagues after a long week in work … Whatever reason you have for attending, it’s well worthwhile speaking to as many people as you can and building your network. You never know who you will meet!
Networking events are a great way to step out of your comfort zone and improve your confidence. Even if you may not feel comfortable introducing yourself to people at first, you will become more and more confident with every “hello!”
Below are a few tips on navigating a networking event and making the most of your time there:
- If you don’t know where to stand – try positioning yourself near the coffee station/bar. Even if you don’t want a drink, when others head over, it’s a great way to strike up a conversation. Everyone attending is there to meet new people and expand their own network, so don’t be afraid to approach people and start talking to them.
- Be yourself! Being honest and genuine will build the best relationships at these events. This way you know the people you stay in touch with will be the ones who you’ll actually want to see again and who will want to see you!
- Ask questions! This is of course the best way to get to know people and show your interest. It’s always a good idea to let them speak more than you do, they will appreciate your time and attention as you get to know them.
- Focus on making a few solid connections instead of trying to speak to every single person at the event. The longer and more thoughtful the interactions the more memorable you will be.
So, what happens after the event??
You may feel like the event went well and you left with a few more LinkedIn connections and some new contacts in your phone, and while it is good to have these new contacts, it’s even more important to know what to do with them after the event.
- Sending a personalised message, perhaps mentioning a topic that was part of your conversation on the day of the event, is a good way to continue building the relationship. If you come across a relevant article that you think your new contact would like, it might be a nice way to show you were listening to them on the night and want to offer something helpful rather than coming off as only wanting something from them.
- Follow up. There’s no time limit on these things, but following up with your new contacts and checking in to see how you can help each other is a nice way to keep at the forefront of your new connections mind.
- Say in contact. Keeping in touch can lead to a multitude of opportunities that could be beneficial to you both.
Keep an eye on NSTR’s social media platforms for all our upcoming networking events! We would love to see you there!
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Written by Kiera Jazwinski
Head of Operations