Networking events can be tough. Even getting in on a conversation can be difficult, especially if it looks like everyone has already grouped themselves off. You chose to attend because you hope it will help you to make some valuable connections, but there are so many people that you’re not sure any of them will remember you. So how can you make a lasting impression, especially when you might only be chatting to someone for a few minutes? If you don’t want to be forgotten as soon as you walk away, you need to put a little effort into being memorable.
Have Memorable Business Cards
Business cards are still a great way to give someone your details. Names can easily be forgotten, and no one wants to have their phone out for the whole event so that they can keep adding people on LinkedIn. But if everyone else is giving out business cards, you should try to make yours a little different. You could try infinity cards, which are available no bigger than a business card but with more information. They fold in different directions, so you can include images and messages that offer more than just your name and email address.
Be Selective About Handing Out Your Business Cards
You’ve got your business cards to take with you, but who do you give them to? It can be tempting to hand them out to anyone and everyone. However, before you start handing them around, think about how to make the most of them. It’s always best to give your business cards to the right people, instead of just anyone. Wait until you’re sure someone could be a good connection before you give them your card.
Be Interested in Others
If you want people to remember you for the wrong reasons, you’ll spend the entire networking event talking about yourself. But if you want them to remember you for the right reasons, you should also make sure to convey your interest in others. While you should introduce yourself and what you do, it’s also important to listen to what other people are saying. You might even do some research before the event so that you know a bit about some of the key players who are going to be there. You need to strike a balance between being a good listener and making a sales pitch.
Follow Up After the Event
After an event has finished, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s over. Make sure that you get in touch with some of the interesting people you meet and follow up. If you have business cards or other details, look people up on appropriate platforms to get in touch. Add them on LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter or send them an email to say that it was good to meet them. It might or might not be time to suggest working together or meeting up, depending on what you talked about at the event.
If you want to stand out at a networking event, make sure you prepare yourself beforehand.