Regardless of whether you are planning to meet new people to expand your networks or talk to the people you know to see how they can help you achieve your goals, preparation is key to maximise your networking efforts.
Some tips for preparation include:
- Introduce yourself confidently and explain clearly what you are doing or seeking (generally or at this specific event). A good way to prepare is by creating and practicing a 30 second elevator pitch (see below).
- Carry business cards. You don’t need to be employed or have a private company. A simple card with your details (i.e. phone number, email address, website) is all you need.
- Ask the people you meet for their business card or contact details, or give them yours.
- Be professional always (see further: Professionalism).