Smart Tips for Surviving Your Next Northern VA Networking Event
To get ahead in the business world in northern Virginia, networking is crucial, but it’s not always easy to walk into a room full of strangers and strike up a conversation. But see, here’s the thing: Everyone has come to the same networking event for the same thing, to meet strangers.
A networking event in northern VA will be what you make it.
Consider the following tips for navigating a networking event. Go ahead, make some new business connections, and maybe even have a little fun while you’re at it.
- Be genuine. If it seems like common sense, that’s because it is. Networking events are meant to lay the groundwork for new professional relationships; be genuine. Be yourself, and watch your network grow.
- Set reasonable expectations for yourself and for the event. Go into each and every networking event in northern Virginia with an idea in mind of what you’d like to take away. Are you hoping to interact with employees of a specific company to get an idea of the culture? Do you want to meet, and connect with five people? Set reasonable goals, and meet them.
- Take notes. If you meet someone interesting, chances are you’ll want to follow-up with that person at a later date, right? Right. Do this: When your conversation is finished, jot down a few notes on the back of your new contact’s business card or in your handy dandy notebook. He’ll be impressed when you refer specifically to what he does, or what you talked about at the event.
- Share. When they said all you need to know you learned in kindergarten, they weren’t kidding. (No, we don’t know who ‘they’ are either, but it’s true.) If you’re talking with someone, and realize that this person you know could service this other’s person’s need, say so! Offer up your network, and your connections will offer up theirs. After all, that’s what a networking event is all about.
- Don’t spam. Our last point here harkens back to our second. You’re not going to meet, nor will you connect with everyone at the event. You’d be surprised — Boulevard Café Catering has attended, and catered enough corporate events to see it happen: The so-called card spammer will focus more on getting his business card in the hands of everyone, and won’t really connect with anyone. Don’t do that.
With these tips, and a little gumption, you’re armed and ready to make the most out of your next professional networking event. Have fun, and if you’re ever hosting a corporate event in northern Virginia, you know who to call for catering: Boulevard Café Catering.