Contributed by Ari Kalfayan, cofounder of Startup and Tech Mixer and founder of GoBoldly.
Maximise Your Experience with Authentic Networking
1. Be Yourself: Have you ever had someone walk up to you and felt like everything they are saying is lip service? Well, no one likes that. Remember that no one does you, better than you. Share your unique gifts, talk about what you are working on and why it may matter to them.
2. Ask how you can help others: What better way to connect to someone than to help them out with something they are passionate about. Whether it is a charity, a business project or a personal matter, see where you can share you talents in helping others achieve their goals.
3. Be intentional in your conversations: It’s easy to find what you’re looking for when you are being intentional about what you’re looking for (i.e.. investors, advisors, a date for Friday night, etc). Identify 5 things that would help you with your goals and focus your energy on finding partners and collaborators that will help you achieve your goals.
4. Connecting doesn’t mean handing someone your business card: After an event, most business cards are lost in a pile of other cards. Don’t use business cards to connect, book a follow up coffee or meeting right there on the spot. Nothing stands out more than someone how can articulately state what they would like to talk about and connecting makes sense for both parties. Set the meeting on the spot either through email or a calendaring system and give yourself a chance to actually connect.
5. It’s not about being in every room, it’s about being in the right room: Plan out which room you want to walk into and why. Set deliverables ahead of the event in terms of what you would like to achieve so that you are putting out the right energy and having focused conversations.