How to prepare for a networking event!
Entering a venue you’ve (probably) never been to, with a huge amount of people you’ve never met, there’s no doubt – networking events have the potential to be overwhelming. Before attending your first – all you can think is; What should I wear? What should I say? Don’t let it faze you, as the outcome to attending these events for your personal profile and business can be massive.
Below are a few tips on how you can prepare for a networking event!
Pick what you’re going to wear in advance
Whether you’re going to a meeting, a night out or networking event – the most stressful part is picking your outfit. No matter what you wear there’s always a niggle in your mind on whether you’ve made the right choice. Smart casual is the universal dress code when in doubt. Dress how you represent yourself as first impressions really do count.
So, if you want to stand out – wear something flamboyant and out the ordinary, if you want to look smart and professional put on a dress, suit, shirt, or if you want to represent your company to the core it’s more than acceptable to wear a branded top or uniform. The decision is yours but always pick in advance to avoid that last-minute breakdown an hour before the event!
Plan your journey
Most people come to LILK straight from the office. The last thing you want to do before an event is stress over road works or traffic. Checking beforehand will give you time to plan. If you need to leave work slightly earlier, approach your boss in advance. Most companies are understanding because these events are important for personal development. Just make sure the next day you share your learnings so management can see the benefits you gain from attending events like LILK.
On the 27thJune doors will open from 5:30pm, this means guests can start networking before the main room and Speakers Corner open at 6pm. If you finish work at 5, you have a full hour to get to the Mercure in Maidstone. Finish at 5:30? No problem, there’s still plenty of time before the main room opens (Speakers Corner schedule is coming soon)!
Start conversations before the event
In February we saw a huge spike in social media engagement before the event as conversations start between people online who have never met offline. That’s why we all love social media, the ability to get to know someone before you even meet them.
Cement your place at LILK, just click here. You can then start posting on your social profiles about attending the event. This will trigger conversations with others and that room full of people will no longer be as daunting, because you’ve got to know some of them in advance!
Set goals for the event
There are three questions you should attempt to answer before attending any networking event;
Why are you attending? Who are you hoping to meet? What are you looking to learn?
Most attend networking events to help create new relationships with people who in the future could help further their business or career. There’s also a chance to learn from the key-note speakers in attendance. Also don’t miss out the opportunity when chatting to fellow professionals to discuss current trends and how they are looking to exploit them. It may just give you a lightbulb moment for your next big idea.
Stock up on business cards and personal branding
There’s a chance that after a networking event those you’ve met will forget all about you – don’t worry it’s normal. One way to make sure you stand out is by using the opportunity to hand out business cards or personal branded items with your details on so you can take the conversations online after the event.
Grasp the opportunity to check you’re connected with that person on LinkedIn. Get the most out of that person in front of you by asking about their other social accounts too. Remember to switch on the ‘Find Nearby’ feature on LinkedIn as soon as you walk in to the room.
You can sign up for the next LILK event by clicking here. We look forward to seeing the very best you networking this summer!