In the past 5 months I’ve been to two major networking events/conferences – one in Miami called Seed Food & Wine festival [click to read about it here] and the most recent at Alt Summit. If you want to take your business to the next level networking is ESSENTIAL. I know some of these events can be pricey but truthfully it’s so worth the investment.
After attending these major conferences I’ve seen a trend in things I need to do in order to stand out and really make a lasting impression. Obviously everyone may have their own successful methods, but these 5 have proven to drive results for me and I figured I’d share with you all!
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH.
Before attending networking events you usually know what brands and companies will be there before hand. STUDY THEM. Find out what their current trends are, find out what they’re currently promoting, find out any and everything you can. Why? Because it’ll show when you speak to them. When you come in with a clear idea of what they represent/ what they’re looking for this will help you not only prove your invested in their brand, but will also help with potential sponsorships and collaboration opportunities.
2. BUSINESS CARDS WITH YOUR PICTURE ON IT.
Networking events are typically super busy and brands are meeting tonsssss of people. An easy way for them to remember you quickly? Have a picture of you on your business card! This connects a face to the name instantly and if you did a good job at making a good first impression it’ll work in your favor later.
3. ASK QUESTIONS – IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.
While it’s great to express your passion about whatever it is you do, no one likes a self-centered individual. Brands like people who ask simple questions, are engaging and show a genuine interest in learning more about them. Though you’ve already done your research, you obviously don’t know everything and you’d be surprised what insights PR agents will share when they feel comfortable enough to talk to you.
4. ALWAYS BE READY TO PITCH.
This comes hand in hand with your research again. Having a general idea about what the brand is pushing for currently is a huge advantage. You never want to be side swiped if the idea of you working with them arises. Have fresh, ideas ready to go! You don’t want to come off as sales pitchy and annoying but just saying “I’d love to work with you” isn’t enough these days. Being clear and concise on HOW you want to work with them increases your chance of sponsored work tremendously. It’s also important to be clear [1-2 liner!] about what it is YOU DO. No PR person wants to hear a paragraph about your interests.
5. FOLLOW UP.
In the world of entrepreneurship we NEVER wait around for things to just happen. Always follow up with the brands and the sooner you do it the better. Always ask your conversation partner for the best form of contact after chatting and shake with a firm hand. When you’re ready to shoot over a follow up email be sure to reference something you discussed to ensure they remember you.
Have any tips I missed that work for you? Leave me a comment and share!
Hope this was helpful!
Til next time,