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Webshop: How to be Successful at a Networking Event

Learn how to strategize in order to make the most of attending networking events.

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Transcript of Webshop: How to be Successful at a Networking Event

Goal:
Meet Someone New
Goal: Practice Professional Conversation
Goal:
Be Social
Know yourself
and
Know why you are going to the event
Goal:
Reconnect with a Colleague
How to be successful at a Networking Event

These questions will be helpful before you choose a goal. Choose either one of the following goals or create your own based on your personality or your professional agenda
Do you consider your current network too small?

Are your LinkedIn contacts all from your past career?

Do you have questions about your new industry that you want to confirm from your internet research?

Do you consider yourself to be a social person?

Have you already been meeting new people in the classroom or in your working life?
Are you a social person who is in a long term job search?

Have you spent all your spare time studying? Caring for family? Working?
Develop a Strategy
Strategy to
Meet Someone New
Follow up
Has someone suggested that you may benefit from practicing your professional language skills?
Do you know yourself to be less social and you would like to challenge yourself in this way?
If the answer is yes, this may be your opportunity for practice.
Set a Goal
Strategy:
Before the Event
Once you decide on a strategy, prepare yourself.

What information are you hoping to learn?

What information are you hoping to share?

Strategy to Reconnect with
a Colleague
Strategy to Practice Professional Conversation
Strategy to Be Social
Check in with your contacts before the event and sh schedule a time to meet there.

Review the guest list, if possible, and make a point to reconnect with people who you have met before. Be prepared to share professional updates.

Examples:
Last time we met, we talked about following current market trends. How has that been going for your business?
Would you like to meet for coffee and talk more about current trends? How about next week?
Before the event, review with a friend or trusted colleague your agenda for the event including what information you would like to share and to learn.

Attend the event on your own or with one friend only rather than with a group. Practice your skills by introducing your friend to someone new that you meet.

After the event, debrief with a friend. Discuss your next steps.
Have fun, but be professional, e.g. if alcohol is served, then don't have more than one.

Assign yourself homework in order to be productive. Consider what topics you would like to learn more about.

Examples:
Give yourself a 2 hour maximum time limit;
Make at least 1 follow up appointment;
Approach at least 2 new people;
Help make new connections for someone else- introduce 2 people that you meet to someone new

Be open to opportunity: you never know where you will find your next friend, connection,
or chance.
Set aside time right after the event to write notes about the people who you met. Note who to reach out to for future conversations and for what purpose. Schedule follow up emails for the next day. Include in the email specific options for meeting dates and times and topics.
Write a "thank you" to all new contacts. Thank them for their time and for any information that they offered to you. Be specific and genuine. Follow up with any information that you promised in earlier conversation. Honoring your word is always a benefit.
Be open and courteous when growing your connections.
Continue the Conversation

Once you have made new friends, keep in touch with them. Have coffee, go for a walk, start a professional book club, request a LinkedIn connection- maintain the connection in a way that is true to your personality and to your industry.
Meet new people, but don't meet everyone: think quality not quantity in new connections.
Sample Conversation Starters

What GGU course project has recently piqued your interest? Prepare to present this as an introduction to a conversation.

Have you been working on your resume? Ask a colleague what skills they believe are most important for a successful professional in your field.
Assign yourselves specific tasks.

Examples:
Stay at the event for at least one hour;
Meet at least 2 new people;
Ask each person that you meet at least 1 prepared question;
Learn 1 new trend in your field
View the Elevator Pitch Webshop on the Office of Career Planning eLearning course
to learn how to develop a strong, personalized, introduction.
Before the event, ask the organizer for a guest list. Choose a few people who you would like to learn more about. Prepare a few specific questions that you might like to ask them.

Examples:
What makes your business distinct from others in your field? What are some unique aspects of your business?
What are some of the biggest challenges you've experienced this year?

After the Event
Networking Tips for Introverts: 20 Ways to make business connections less painful

http://www.speea.org/Member_Tools/Layoff_information/Networking_Tips_for_Shy_Professionals_Part_2.pdf
The Business Fox: 55 Great Icebreaker Questions to Ask at Networking Events: Break the Ice, Build Conversations & Help You Become a People Magnet www.thebusinessfox.com
Make an Appointment with Career Consultant to discuss networking strategies

Office of Career Planning
www.ggucareers.com
415.442.7299
careers@ggu.edu
A list of questions to ask at a Networking Event:
How are you in social settings?

Who are you hoping to meet?
What are you hoping they will teach you?
What information would you like to share?
Attending a networking event where people of like minds come together you may stretch yourself and meet someone new in order to answer some questions you have about your new field.

If you are already an expert at socializing, then take it a step further and research the guest list in advance. Then at the event you can be intentional and focus your time meeting people who you think may be the ones to answer your predetermined questions.
A networking event is the perfect venue to utilize your social skills in the job search. Consider that reconnecting or further developing professional relationships may lead to opportunity in the world of work.
This may be a good opportunity for professional conversations or to continue the conversations which began in GGU classrooms.
Thank Your Contacts
Full transcript