Networking with other marketing professionals is one of the most powerful things you can do for your marketing career. Networking events provide a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, increase your visibility, and learn about current marketing trends. Spending an hour or two interacting with others in a relaxed, fun environment can build the foundation of valuable new relationships. So how can you make the most of a networking event?
Before the Event
A useful tip to prepare for a networking event is to begin with the end in mind. Think about your goals for the event: are you looking to hire new talent for your company? Are you searching for potential new customers for your business? Or, are you simply out to make new friends who are also marketers? Have some questions or talking points ready to go, so that each conversation you have gets you closer to your end goal.
Also have the necessary tools to foster your new connections following the event. Bring enough business cards to share with each new person you meet. And review your LinkedIn profile before the event to ensure that it’s up to date and reflects information about you that you want to convey. Many attendees at networking events often pull out their phones and send a LinkedIn request to the person they’re speaking with right on the spot.
At the Event
The best piece of advice to keep in mind at a networking event is that everyone is there for the same reason. All of the attendees are there because they’re eager to meet new people. So if you see a cluster of people already in the middle of a conversation, don’t hesitate to jump in. They’ll be happy to have you join the circle.
Along those same lines, don’t feel guilty breaking away from a conversation, either. You want to maximize your time at a networking event, so it’s important to work the room and mingle with multiple people. The person you’ve been speaking with will understand.
Regardless of your goals for the event, you’ll learn a lot by listening. The attendees you speak with may know of other professional organizations or groups that you might be interested in joining, or may just have a recommendation for a great restaurant in the area. Building connections with people through these type of informal topics are often an excellent way to grow your network.
Putting It All Into Practice
Attending a networking event is a great first step, but truly participating in meaningful conversations will have the greatest benefit to you and your career. The connections you make may lead to new professional opportunities, valuable advice, or business leads; you never know who you will meet and what they might bring to your life.
AMA New Jersey understands the importance of building your network, so we are hosting two events to help you do just that. The ‘Dos de Mayo Mix and Mingle’ events will be held on May 2nd from 6-8pm in two locations: Woodland Park and New Brunswick. It will be an exciting opportunity to relax and come together with fellow marketers at two festive locales.
Author: Jacklyn Yuppa