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Tips for making a lasting impression at networking events

Tips For Making A Lasting Impression At Networking Events

How can you make a lasting impression at networking events? Have you ever attended a trade show or convention, shook a bunch of hands, collected a stack of business cards, and then the next day you go through the cards and can’t match faces (or more importantly, conversations) to names? Or do you remember someone you had a good chat with, but can’t recall the name of their business in order to look them up? Now look at the other end of that spectrum. Are you able say that you were effective in making a lasting impression on people so they’ll keep you in mind for future opportunities or transactions? How many of those people do you think will remember YOU? The next time you attend one of those large marcus evans business events, get your game in check before you work the room. Here are some tips:

1. Distinguish yourself. Clothing is a good way to do this. No need to be outlandish – women, you could try an unusual neckless, men, a hand-painted tie. Whatever you do, make sure you are at least impeccably groomed – dress for the occasion, shave, trim your nails (you’re going to be shaking a lot of hands), and make sure you’re not wearing overpowering amounts of cologne or perfume. You want to be remembered in a good way. Although you’re there to make a social/intellectual impression, physical appeal is important as well.

2. Be fully present and engaged in all your conversations. Make eye contact, pay attention to what you’re saying, respond promptly. If you’re only half there, you’re cheating yourself of potentially valuable information and possibly being rude to the person you’re talking with. Things have a tendency to move forward naturally when all parties are fully engaged. Even if a chat seemed like a waste of your time, at least you gave it the attention it deserved to be able to make a judgment call about whether that person would be a good contact. And who knows, later on, that connection could come in handy, even if it doesn’t just now.

3. Reiterate key points about you. In other words, find discreet ways to “plug” your who, what, when, where, why & how. If you’re at a particularly large networking event, such as a business convention hosted by marcus evans, people aren’t going to remember lengthy facts about you. At best, they might walk away with one or two key points: your name, company name, business/industry, product, location. You need to subtly increase the occurrence of these “keywords” in your conversation without sounding like a commercial for a local used car lot.

4. Give your two cents.

When talking to a group, whether sitting around a table at a luncheon or just gathered around in some other setting, it’s important to contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way if you want to make yourself stand out. Without dominating the conversation or saying something just to have spoken publicly, you can create value for yourself and make yourself memorable if you make one or two intelligent, impressionable statements that add to the discussion.

5. Ask good questions. This shows that you’re paying attention to the person you’re networking with and it will often garner you more valuable information. “How did you get started in solar technology?” or “How did you come up with this or that product/idea?” are good questions, but the best and most thought provoking inquiries are going to be specific to your conversation and will flow naturally as long as you’re engaged in the talk.

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