TMC – Tuesday, June 19, 2018
In the last six weeks, I have been at AGMs and conferences—about eight of them. I did a lot of networking. And it pays off. Also, in just eight weeks, I will be at the WSC in the 613, (add the following address under WSC in the 613 which is an amazing day and-a-half of sponsorship professional development and networking with industry leaders and participants. If you are not registered yet, do it quickly before it sells out. This is the premiere sponsorship conference in central and eastern Canada for 2018!
Between what I have experienced in the last six or so weeks and planning to attend the WSC in the 613, I thought I would dive into a discussion around networking. Between my own needs and what I have recently witnessed, I reached out to several people whom I think are great networkers. I capsulized their responses into these key thoughts and ideas.
- There are three types of networking:
- Professional development networking or formal networking such as at conferences, meetings, training, client/staff functions
- Social networking—less formal and around social events such as a sporting events, theatre, dinners, festivals, or other activities
- Social media networking—LinkedIn, Twitter
- Networking is both an art (building relationships, engaging, being expressive) and a science (systematic planning; research on people, places, and things; repetition; and practice). This dual experience is critical because, without one or the other, successful and efficient networking does not happen.
- You should have a few lines in your back pocket to start a conversation with anyone. Come prepared with a few such lines (planned or in crib notes)
- Like an opening question, all the folks I chatted with encouraged me to have an “exit line.” Know how to end a conversation so you can move on, if need be! This might include introducing the person to someone else, thanking them for spending time with you and that you don’t want to monopolize their time, asking them whom else they have met so far, or finally, saying how much you would like to continue this conversation and suggesting you grab a coffee sometime!
Make sure you know what type of networking event you are getting yourself into and prepare appropriately.
If you have other thoughts or ideas, please feel to share them. All the best as you thrive in a world of connections and networking.
© 2018. All rights reserved.