Beyond the chance to rub elbows and swap stories with other professionals from the same industry, a networking event opens up opportunities for businesses to discover new leads and build new, lasting relationships. For anyone who is interested in attending such an event, it would be wise to keep certain pointers in mind.
Essentially, you can think of networking events in London as a get-together of like-minded individuals who wish to broaden their professional linkages. While you may be on the lookout for something specific, keep in mind that you also have something of value to offer. Be generous with your resources and contacts, and adopt the mind-set that you are representing your company. Aim to meet the right people, build rapport with them, and leave a lasting impression so they will not hesitate to refer you to other business owners.
Given the limited time you have, however, don’t feel pressure to exchange business cards with everyone in the room or close a deal with someone right there and then. Rather, identify beforehand the people or groups with whom you wish to establish a connection. You may join in on conversations at opportune moments, but do so politely.
Once you’ve identified a suitable prospect, and be sure to clearly articulate what you do and what you are looking for. Take note, though, that you would not want to sound like you are giving a sales pitch all the time, however. Instead, listen attentively to what others see fit to share with you to determine if and how you can be of help to them. Be prepared to ask relevant questions of anyone you interact with.
If you have been tasked to join or even conduct London networking events, but aren’t that certain about how go about it, you can count on a company such as BNI London to point you towards the right direction. Such a business networking firm can create an RSVP event for the industry of your choice as quickly as possible, thanks to their vast network of established businesses. With the right approach and demeanour, you can look forward to lasting new partnerships and stronger growth prospects for your business by the time you walk out the door.
(Source: 10 Tips for Your Next Networking Event, inc.com, October 3, 2014)