By Kawania H. Wooten CMP
If you are planning to attend an industry event in the upcoming weeks, here are five (5) ways to network like the boss that you are!
1. Arrive On Time. It’s much less intimidating to network when there aren’t a lot of people in the room. So, arrive on time, have a glass of wine, and strike up a conversation with the few people who arrived on time. As the evening progresses, you will find that being a part of one of the initial conversation circles will allow you easily to move through the crowd afterward.
2. Bring a Little Visual Interest. Consider wearing a “conversation starter” — a pretty pin, a great outfit, fun shoes or even a quirky pair of eyeglasses. The goal is to have them set you apart visually from the rest of the room. But, don’t break the bank! Having a warm, friendly personality and interesting business ideas will make a bigger impression than any article of clothing.
3. Don’t Fear the “Circle.” Have you ever walked into a networking event and find that everyone is already chatting in little “circles?” It can be a little intimidating. Find a break in a circle and lean in. Then, wait for an opportunity to chime in with a comment that is relevant to the conversation in progress. It may feel a little intimidating at first, but you will be fine.
4. Don’t Recite Your Resume. When you’re chatting with the people you just met, don’t spend your time trying to impress them with your business accomplishments. Instead, share something fun and interesting such as your thoughts about a new restaurant you tried or an interesting book you read. And, remember to ask questions —Show interest in the lives of the people you are talking to. People tend to develop solid connections with those who showed interest in them.
5. Pay It Forward. If someone you know is at the same networking event, make a point of introducing him or her to others in the room. This act of kindness is a characteristic of an industry leader, and it will definitely set you apart from the pack.
Kawania Wooten is the principal consultant at Howerton+Wooten Events, LLC. Known to her friends and family as Kay, she uses artistic skills, her keen attention to the smallest details and her strong commitment to customer service as the hallmark of her business. As the founder of the company, Kawania strives for professionalism, creativity and impeccable organization within every function planned by Howerton+Wooten Events.