7 tips for networking and NOT looking at your phone plus announcing the lucky winner!
How are you at networking? Do you see it as that essential business activity that you HATE?
It can be quite daunting walking into a room full of strangers and making sure you don’t instantly go to your comfort blanket of your phone as company.
Last night I went to an excellent event hosted by Harpers Bazaar. It was Build Your Business with four leading lights in entrepreneurship on the panel:
Facebook’s VP, EMEA Nicola Mendelsohn, NatWest’s Head of Enterprise, Julie Baker, Venture Capital Investor Anna Sweeting and Bridalwear designer Caroline Castigliano.
Twitter hastag: #Bazaaratwork
The event was a sell out with 200 female entrepreneurs attending. People had travelled far and wide to come to the event.
I have young children so to manage to get to events is always a struggle to find childcare, plus I live outside of London so whenever I attend events I doubly make sure I will get the most out of them.
Here are my 7 top tips for networking and NOT looking at your phone:
- Enter the room and pick up a leaflet or a magazine that is out on display. This will keep your hands busy whilst you are looking for the drinks section.
- Drink in hand, take a few flicks of the reading material you have whilst you surreptitiously scan the room looking for someone to talk to.
- Here it is the next step….start a conversation. Now this does sound simple but actually it can be very hard to do if you are on your own and are feeling daunted by the entire room looking like they are getting on like a house on fire! Why not chat to someone who is also alone and looking for someone to talk to?
- Have your ‘Nail it in 8‘ elevator pitch in your head so when the person asks you what you do, you can say it succinctly. It’s always a benefit to ‘say it in 8’ as often there is lots of background noise and distractions and you can capture the attention of your audience in less than 8 seconds. Try it!
- Once you have struck up your first convo, you will be feeling more comfortable, so you can now start to ‘work the room’…well just meet the next person. So politely excuse yourself and say something like: “It was really nice meeting you, please may I have your card? I really wanted to meet xyz and I think she may be over there”….and head on over there.
- If you are going to an event where you will be watching or learning, make sure you have front row seats so you can be in prime position to speak to the dream speaker once they are off stage. Basically be in the front of the line!
- Make sure that you do connect the following day with whomever you have exchanged cards so you can keep the conversation going.
Where and when is your next networking event?
It’s been a great week and I am feeling really inspired by your businesses!
We had some fantastic entries for the lucky draw for the ‘Press Release Check and Send Service‘.
Amongst the entries, these included:
- Longest running radio show for women made by women celebrating its 6th year
- Korean beauty trend new product launch: Bento boxes with Korean beauty products
- Tanzanian based campaigner launching ‘living room health centres’ in UK to save the NHS
- Book launch: My Tutu Went AWOL by Madame Galina
- Feminist entrepreneur launch
The deadline of 1pm on Tuesday meant that people were finishing their press releases so they could submit them to the draw. I was subsequently told that the deadline was what pushed you over the edge to send in your entry.
I also did say…”It doesn’t have to be perfect, Just Do It!” So I think some of you who were on the fence and were worried about sending in a perfect press release just did it, so well done!
My co-host who pulled the lucky press release out of the (World Book Day Mad Hatter’s Daughter’s) hat was Nina, my 9 year old daughter and you can see us doing a FB Live right here inside PR Secrets.
It was really funny as the lucky winner turned up to the FB Live to watch the draw happen! So many congrats to you Lorraine Palmer, journalist Helen Croydon and I can’t wait to get to work on your press release and to then mass distribute it out when it’s all polished and shiny!
The title of Lorraine’s press release is: It’s RAW time to be healthy