In the world of work, lockdown taught businesses a lot about flexibility in the workplace with homeworking and hybrid models becoming the norm.
On the flip side, cabin fever also made people want to escape from their homes to meet work colleagues and clients after being confined to their homes for two years.
The new found freedom also opened up networking events. Love them or loathe them, they are one of the best ways to meet new people and spread the word about your business.
Here, we have some hints and tips to help you on your networking journey.
Research your target audience
With so many networking opportunities out there, from business breakfasts to awards dinners, it’s important to look into events relevant to your business.
Research your target market, list the events that will be most beneficial for you and confirm your attendance.
Although networking is a lovely way of making new contacts, it’s important to remember you are there to shout about your business.
Before attending an event, prepare a small introduction about you and the company you represent, and rehearse it before venturing out and about. Remember to keep it short and snappy – you don’t want to lose people’s attention – or forget your line.
It’s also vital to have business cards at the ready. Make sure all the information is correct and up-to-date.
Get the conversation started
Although talking is a skill we’re all really good at, being put into a room crowded with people can often fill people with dread – but don’t let it. Take a deep breath, stand tall and mix with the crowd.
Once you’ve started speaking to someone, your confidence will grow. You’ll be looking forward to attending your next event in no time.
Remember, networking doesn’t stop once an event is over. Social media is key in keeping the momentum going and building relationships.
Get online and tag the people you’ve met and the businesses they work for – it’s a great way of connecting and staying in touch after an event.
Follow up leads
Remember the business cards you collected during the event? Well, don’t forget to put them to good use. Get the ball rolling by emailing or calling your new found contact, and arrange to meet again for an informal chat. You’ll see the benefits of becoming a networking pro in no time.
Here at Korero, we hold a monthly networking group, Wander Wednesday. Not only does the informal stroll around Aberdeen let you meet new faces, you can get fresh air at the same time.
Put your best foot forward and meet us outside ONE Tech Hub on Schoolhill at 12.30pm this Wednesday (May 10). Nick Bansal at Barclays Eagles Labs is covering the cost of coffees, so there’s a drink in it for you too.
Visit wanderwednesday.com to sign up