Connect with business leaders and influencers at networking events.
Many organizations and industries offer business networking events. These events are typically held before or after work or over the lunch hour, and they are a chance for like-minded professionals to come together and discuss emerging trends, ideas, and to build relationships.
While attending networking events can support your career transition, most people are a bit uncomfortable at the prospect of going. These events typically involve a group of acquaintances informally mingling during a set period of time. There may not be a formal agenda. Usually, these types of events offer refreshments, either complimentary or for a small fee.
Networking events are a great way to build connections with business leaders in a face-to-face setting; preparing ahead will help you benefit from an event and feel more confident.
Before the event
- Set a goal – what do you hope to gain from going?
- Research the sponsoring organization or group
- Prepare your business cards (personalized, professional networking cards)
During the event
- Introduce yourself using a version of your professional introduction tailored to the group
- Move around the room and mingle with multiple people – don’t settle into your comfort zone
- Listen first, speak second
After the event
- Follow up and reach out to any new connections you formed
- Plan to attend the next event, or one that best meets your goals