Networking meetings have become an inseparable part of business conferences and have gained major recognition over the past few years. To make the most out of it, remember a few rules.
Meet your conversation partners
Before you meet someone in person, do your research and check who you are meeting with during the event ahead of time. Learn about their industries and interests. Set your own preferences. It’ll save you a lot of time, which consequently may be used to meet as many people as possible. Acquiring knowledge about the conversation partner is also of great use in the discussion itself. Concentrate on professional issues, getting the essential content and, more importantly, a new business contact.
Conciseness above all
If you can describe yourself and your company in 20 or 30 seconds, brilliant. If not, you still have time to prepare. The secret to successful talks is always a precise presentation of your offer. It doesn’t mean you can give up on casual questions at the beginning – all participants care about maintaining positive relations with the newly met people after all. The meeting’s length is just as crucial: it should be long enough to learn about mutual needs, scope of activities and to exchange contact information, but at the same time short enough for the interlocutor not to get bored. Such conferences are meant for meeting the highest number of people, so let those discussions limit to a few minutes and an exchange of business cards. The conversation can also be continued after the event.
Take an initiative and grab a chance
How to tap into valuable contacts? Don’t be afraid of taking an initiative and benefit from the fact many people from various industries appear at the conference. The best way to be remembered is being on the move. It is worth arranging short meetings in recognizable spots of the conference – by the reception desk or buffet and changing seats after every break in the agenda. It is the perfect opportunity to introduce ourselves to strangers sitting next to you and chit-chat. All chances should be taken, even if it’s a queue for coffee or lunch.
Maintain new contacts
You must never ignore contacts you managed to acquire. The business cards collected during the event are more than small pieces of paper. They are your potential investors and business partners, on whom your success depends. A wide network of contacts is worthless, if you do not maintain the newly established acquaintances, though. It is good to arrange a predicted date of contacting during the conference, best if it’s within one week. It’s a sign that we take all new business relations seriously, even when you don’t expect to establish a permanent relation.