Networking is about developing long-term, meaningful relationships between people who have a mutual ability and willingness to help each other over time. Networking is not schmoozing.
Meeting new people to expand your professional network can be daunting. If you are planning to attend a networking event, a little preparation will go a long way to help you get the best value from the experience.
Get involved. Groups organizing events often rely on volunteers. Getting involved can be a good way to build a network by collaborating on a shared project.
Before attending a networking event, define your goal for the event. Do some background research and gather information on the following:
The networking event allows you to meet new people and catch up with existing contacts. It can help you identify which contacts you want to invest more time in to build a relationship.
Effective networking requires that you always stay positive and enthusiastic. But most importantly, be yourself:
Once you’ve attended a networking event and made connections, make sure you follow up.