Let’s start with a standard evening networking event. What preparation might you do?
If it is a regular event you might do none. For example, I attend monthly networking drinks (on the months I happen to be free). I won’t usually prepare for these.
However, a little preparation can actually go a long way and the networking planner can help guide you though the preparation steps.
The Networking Planner Layout
The general networking layout that you would use for general events such as the monthly drinks includes space for key information about the event you are attending. This is factual things like the date and location of the event. There is also space for notes.
Then there is the preparation section.
Preparing for a General Networking Event
The preparation section of the Networking Planner will guide you through the following Pre-Event Event Preparation steps:
- Review Guest List
There is a section for reviewing any guest list that you might have for an event. If you haven’t got a specific guest list you might check in with colleagues or contacts who usually attend to see if anyone else is going.
- Note who you want to meet and who you know who is attending the event.
Who do you want to meet? Write down their names. However, it isn’t always about meeting new people, sometimes attending events can be good for building relationships you already have. This is why it can be important to check who you know who is attending.
- Check who you met and chatted to at the last event
If it is a regular event, make sure you check your entry in your planner or notebook for the last event. Who did you meet? Which of your regular contacts attended? What did you talk about.
- Are any of your Priority Contacts going?
Are there any of your priority contacts that you are particularly keen to see who might be attending? If it is appropriate why not reach out to check if they are going to to invite them along.
- Set your goals for the event
Set goals for the event, or work out how attending the event will further your goals and write a couple of action points so that you have a focus.
- Check out Social Media
Depending on the event you should also check out any buzz on social media / website etc and join in and promote as appropriate to raise your profile.