Go Because You Want To Help Others
1 The most important thing you can do at a networking event is provide value for other people. That’s why you go. If everyone had this mentality, networking events would be hyper effective.
Learn What Others Need
2 To provide value for other people, you need to learn what it is that they need. Ask questions about them and their career trajectory. Ask about their job. From there, you’ll figure out if there’s any way you can provide them value.
Think Of Specific Solutions
3 Find out what you can do for them. Do you know someone you can connect them with that will benefit them? What is their goal for being at the networking event? How can you help them achieve that goal?
Listen More Than You Speak
4 Show a genuine interest in the people you meet and try to listen more than you speak. If you don’t learn enough about someone and what they do, there’s no way to know how you can help them, or even if you can. Try to listen more than you speak.
Connect With Purpose
5 Establish what you’re there to do before you go. Don’t waste your time on going with the overall goal “to network.” Are you there to promote your own event? To find speakers for your event? To find out about what is working at this event and use those techniques on your event?
6 Establish what you’re not there to do, and avoid those things.
Not Every Interaction Will Lead Somewhere, That's Okay
7 You don’t need to give or get something out of every interaction. If you truly can’t help someone with anything, just enjoy your time speaking with them. Most interactions you have won’t be fruitful, the point is to keep interacting until you do have a fruitful one.
8 Have fun. Be pleasant. Smile. No one wants to connect with a person who is deadly serious all the time.
Keep It Organic
9 If someone asks, or it comes up naturally, don’t be afraid to talk about your successes or times you’ve helped other people. If you do this without it coming up naturally, it will sound like bragging though. Do not brag.
Help Facilitate Immediate Connections
Ten If you can help two people at the same event connect, do so that night.