Finding jobs, recruiting talents, meeting investors, acquiring customers…

If you’re attending events with any of these purposes in mind, networking is key to reaching your goal. Making connections is a must-have skill for any professional, but you probably already know that. What you may not realize is that learning how to network properly is still a big challenge for many.

Good networks are built on good relations, and you can’t move forward on a business idea or career without one. You need people to help you and vice-versa. So how can you get the most out of the events you’re attending? In this article, we’ll cover 6 tips to master the art of networking. 

Get ready to take some notes and learn how to network like a pro!

1. Set a goal

Why have you chosen to attend Event X instead of Event Y? You have to answer this question in order to maximize your personal event takeaway. After all, you don’t want to lose time and money, right?

Setting a goal will help you plan out your event participation. Maybe you’d like to meet a top-CEO or your next co-founder. When you have a goal in mind, you know exactly why you’re attending that event. You can use your time optimally, talking and connecting with the right people.

We encourage you to make a list of goals and priorities. By the end of an event attended with concrete goals in mind, you will be able to claim, “Mission accomplished!” 

2. Ask and listen

Your own experience is definitely useful to other people, but don’t be the only one in the room who’s sharing the knowledge! There is often much to learn from any business peers with whom you’re connecting. So in a nutshell: Be curious!

Listening is important when you're networking

When you start a conversation, make sure to ask interesting questions. And remember that it’s crucial to be an attentive listener. Good listening is an important skill you need to develop if you want to succeed. 

Don’t forget to be open, friendly, and honest. This is key to forge real connections with people who may have something to offer you. And you’ll have something to offer them in return!


3.  Everyone is important

If you want to learn how to network, here’s an important rule to keep in mind: Every person has value.

Don’t make the mistake of paying attention only to job titles. You must be open to diversifying your professional network. People of all stripes can act as great connections for your future business or career. You never know how a connection made today may profit both of you tomorrow.

Once again, ask questions… And listen to the answers! A young professional might be just the person to help you achieve your goals.

Always keep in mind that you can learn from anyone when you’re networking.


4. “How can I help you?”

This is the question you always need to ask–in one form or another–before ending a conversation. Offering help is a good way to create a real connection. So if you feel that you have something to add to a company or project, be sure to mention it. 

Try not to put pressure on your new connections. Just let them know that you’re open to talking later and that you can connect on LinkedIn. 

The most successful networkers build genuine relationships and give more than they receive. This is a simple way to surprise someone while networking. 

5. Smile

It might sound silly, but when you’re nervous, smiling is the best way to calm down.

How to network

When you smile, you become more open and welcoming to other people. It creates an easier atmosphere for starting conversations and forging a real connection. So smile, but don’t forget to be authentic!


6. Follow up

Everyone is busy these days. This can’t be your excuse for missing out on a business opportunity. If you promised anything during the event, you’ve got to fulfil that promise.  It can be as simple as introducing two people or sharing a video. Take the time to do what you’ve promised.

Each individual is on a different stepping stone somewhere along their professional path.  A small gesture, like an email connecting two or more people, can change someone’s life.

Navigating the network

It takes practice and time to learn how to network. Take these 6 tips into consideration and start rockin’ it at your next event!

Did you find this article useful? Discover more tips and educational articles here.