Networking: Paying at the Door Paid Off

I received a night-before-the-networking event invitation from a colleague and with a quick glance to check my calendar, made a spontaneous decision to accept and attend. Pre-registration had already closed but it was worth the pay-at-the door price to engage in a new-to-me networking group.

It was a well-organized event with a big crowd of business owners mingling in the lobby of an uber hip hotel.

My colleague hadn’t arrived yet so I just forged ahead. Chatting early on with a regular member of the group led to warm introductions of other members. What a genuinely courteous way to help a newcomer circulate. By the time my colleague arrived, I had met many dynamic professionals.

The results keep coming in from this networking event. Great connections were established onsite which merited a referral and in turn the person making the referral is now also a potential client. I’m following up with a handful of warm leads and scheduling one on one meetings with new colleagues to get to know them better.

Big crowds equal lots of potential connections but big crowds also produce a lot of noise making it difficult to hear what the person next to you is saying. Oftentimes the best time to talk, if you have time to stay until the end, is as the crowd disburses and it quietens down or to dive deeper into your conversation consider scheduling a meetup for coffee another time.

• Practice active listening during conversations.
• Move to a location where you can hear the program or announcements.
• Use the energy from the synergy and execute your follow up strategies.
• Thank the coordinator and any sponsors.