What ever you do at networking events please don’t be that person that goes round the room as fast as possible shoving business cards in people’s faces (and asking for business cards in return) without stopping to make conversation. Yes, at times there is limited time to get round people at an event and we understand the desire to meet as many people as possible but your time is wasted if you do not engage in conversation.
You will end up with a bunch of business cards, but know nothing about the people who gave you a card.
A bunch of people will end up with your card and not know what to do with it. Worse still not remember who you are / remember you for the wrong reason and not follow-up with you… after all what is their motivation? They know nothing about you.
I met one of these such people last week. She works directly in my industry, so I’ve given her the benefit of the doubt and reached out. I’ve not heard back yet.
So what if you do want to get round as many people as possible in a limited time frame, what is the right way to do this? I watched a woman pull this off brilliantly at a recent event. She had spent the majority of her day going round chatting with people and getting to know them (not a business card in sight) no sales pitch just simple getting to know you chit-chat. Then at the last networking session of the day out came the business cards. She then went round the group saying a quick hello and giving her sales pitch and if she wasn’t speaking to her target audience she excused herself and moved on.
So why was this different? Because she had made an effort to get to know you first.