Tips to Get the Most Out of a Networking Event

Wanneroo Business Association offers different styles of business networking events for you to access.  If you are going to take the time out of your day to come along, then you need to make sure you make the most of it.

Our General Manager, Lauren Bell, has put together some tips for you to use, so you can make sure networking events work for you.

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Tip 1 

Make sure you know when and where the networking event is.  Wanneroo Business Association sends out a weekly email with an update of what is coming up, but you can find them all on our Events webpage.  You can also check out our Facebook page, Google page or Eventbrite, whatever works for you.  An extra tip is to put a reminder in your diary for the start of each month to check the website, register and add them to your diary so you don’t miss out.

Tip 2

First and foremost, business cards!  If you are turning up to a business networking event without your business cards, do you really mean business? 

You might not realise, but even the manner of handing out your card at a business networking event reflects on you as a person.  Don’t butt into a conversation and shove your card in their face.  Give your card out if you have connected with someone, had a meaningful conversation and the person asks for it.  If they don’t ask, but you feel there is room to develop a deeper business relationship, then don’t be afraid of asking for theirs and then the exchange can take place.

Running low on business cards and waiting for a delivery of new ones?  Then at least have a plan, if someone asks for your card, let them know you have run out and ask for theirs, telling them you will send them your details.  The most important part here is making you send them! 

Tip 3

Step into your business networking persona.  This is your chance to leave your bad day at the office and your stresses in the car.  Take a deep breath before you arrive, and focus on why you are attending and who you are hoping to meet.  Arriving at the event with a smile on your face will make you look much more appealing to talk to!

Tip 4

A day before each business networking event, a reminder email is sent out, with the expected registration list attached.  A great way to target your networking is to have a look at who is expected to attend, that way you can make sure you are having the right conversations with the right people.  Have a quick scroll on your phone before you make your way in to the event, that way you will be more prepared than if you hadn’t looked!

Tip 5

Make use of the Wanneroo Business Association staff.  Lauren, Kellie and the Board Members are there to make the networking event easier for you.  If you’re feeling nervous or would like an introduction to someone, just let them know and they will do the hard work for you!

Tip 6

Be open minded.  You never know who knows who, and in Perth that’s never been more important to remember.  There might be no way you could ever do business with the person you are talking to, but what about their customers or suppliers?  Are there introductions you could ask them to make for you?

Tip 7

The follow up!  This is SO IMPORTANT!  If you tell someone at a networking event you will send them some information, or connect them with someone then make sure you carry out the action within a professional time frame.  Making notes on the business cards when you get back to your car, or sending yourself a quick email, is a great way to remember what you said you would do.

Tip 8

Be regular and consistent, but be patient as networking takes time.  There are only a handful of businesses that sell one off products and are able to make a quick sale after attending one networking event.  Most business networking is around gaining the trust of the people you meet, especially if you are in an industry like professional services.  Some of our members network consistently for more than a year, and then they start to reap the rewards.

Register for an upcoming event and put these tips to the test!

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