London is a city of culture and business. Networking events here move from small, indie affairs to large-scale events. Whatever your industry or business, London is a fantastic place to network and build strong connections. Here are some tips for making the most of the experience.
- Go in with a Plan
If possible, find out as much information about who will be attending before you arrive. Decide if there’s anyone in particular you want to talk to and what about. If you’re a natural networker, you might decide to simply go in and assess the vibe, but for most of us, a plan will help shake any natural nerves.
- Sort Accommodation
Pre-plan how you will get to and from the event, and where you will stay after. If you’re relying on public transport, be sure to allow plenty of time for potential disruptions. Short term lets are a great choice for business travellers, offering luxury but with home touches and space to work. You can find some fantastic short let apartments London here.
- Business is Business
There’s always one person (or more) who take full advantage of flowing drinks and lively conversation and alcohol really does let down those guards. Remember that this is business. Keep the drinks to a minimum, maintain a professional demeanour and wakeup hangover and anxiety-free the next morning!
- Bring your Business Cards
This seems obvious but it’s something so many people forget. For creative industries, it is also worth bringing a small example of your work if possible, or keeping your phone close by for a quick flick through your portfolio. Business cards are a must for any networking event.
- Be sincere
On the social side of things, consciously take the time to listen to others and engage with them in an authentic way. In the bustle of a busy networking event, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and desperately try to make your pitch. Take a breath, listen and answer. There will be many opportunities for you to make your mark!
- Look the Part
Dress for the job you want, not the job you have! This old cliché is actually a good one to remember for a networking event. Go for something presentable, professional and comfortable. You could be on your feet for a long time.
- Short and Sharp
A firm handshake, a snappy introduction and a ‘to the point’ summary of what you want to say. This is the key to good networking. Appreciate that when there are levels on seniority at an event, the more-senior members of staff will take the beginning of the evening for active networking, and the rest for socializing. Get your point across, make it memorable and know when to walk away.
- Work the Room
This can feel incredibly daunting when you first start attending networking events, but you can’t make connections if you stay in one place! Ease your anxiety by having a plan of action, and don’t be afraid to step outside and take a breath if you need it. Remember that everyone is there for the same thing.
Don’t forget to follow up! Be sure to strike while the iron is hot and reach out to your new contacts on the next working day. Keep yourself fresh in their minds and don’t miss the opportunity to dazzle!