When Networking Events Go Wrong
Updated: Jan 16, 2020
We recently covered the benefits of networking events, of which there are many. However, be prepared for events when things may not go the way you want them to.
No sign of immediate results
There are times where you will not get the traction that you want from these events. For example, it is very common for niceties to be exchanged and promises to be made on the day, but then they do not get followed up on. Remember that it is not the events themselves that get you results, but the aftermath. The key is to track your results over time.
Not handing out business cards
You should always have business cards prepared. However be sparing, as you don’t want to quickly run out and then later bump into someone you click with, only to find that you don’t have any cards left!
Not following up on business cards
It is easy to swap business cards, but it is essential that you follow up on this and make a plan to genuinely keep in touch after the event. Do not lose out on key people who you could potentially work with in the future.
Signing up to the wrong things
Of course many networking events are out there to sell to us. Only sign up to something after you have researched what you are signing up to and once you have considered the alternatives. It is all too easy to get caught up in something which proves to be unbeneficial or costly in the long-term.
Not listening to others
You should be able to learn something new from each event. Make sure you don’t just promote your own business, but you should also take on what others say as part of your development.
Wasting company resources
Make sure the event won’t drain the company’s resources and that you are getting ROI. Can you pinpoint which events changed your company’s fortunes? That way you can target which events to try and attend in the future.
Not making an impression
Make sure you are the person that people think of after the event. Whether you do this through connecting with someone, or by being helpful or through showing that you are trustworthy.
Misrepresenting your brand
Remember you are not just attending the event as an individual, but as your brand.
Not making full use of the event
Time is important. Don’t miss out on that talk. Have a plan for how many people you want to meet, and how to go about this. Be prepared to talk to people you don’t know, instead of only sticking with those you have met before.
Attending the wrong event
There are so many events these days. Just because an event is in the right industry, doesn’t mean that it will be beneficial for you. For example some events are simply held to promote a company’s products. Sometimes it isn’t clear what the events will be about beforehand, so don’t feel bad if you do go to an event which doesn’t prove to live up to your expectations.
Not clicking with others
At these events, at some point or another, you will meet someone who will put you down or demotivate you. Do not let these people put you off. Be prepared to meet people you don’t have a connection with. This happens to everybody.
Even if you don’t make strong connections the first time around, do not let this put you off. The more you attend events, the more likely you are to see the same people at other industry events, even if this is over a period of months or maybe even years. You will most likely meet hundreds of people, so focus your efforts on those who you feel you will work with best, and who are most closely aligned with your business. Remember that it is unlikely for any event to go perfectly, so if any obstacles do occur, do not let this put you off attending future events.
If you found this post useful, then you may also want to check out our previous topics including strategies for managing jobseeker fatigue, 7 ways to sell yourself without being overconfident and how to make an impact on your target audience as a recruiter.
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