There are many aspects of your event planning business that require constant improvement and renewed strategies to remain effective. One such pillar of your success is networking. How you networked five years ago is different from the networking methods that are the most impactful to your business today. If you could get in the room with the events industry’s biggest influencers and event professionals, what networking advice would you receive? Keep reading to see what we’ve discovered to be some of the best networking strategies today’s most successful event professionals insist are the most effective.
Be a Listener Everywhere You’re Present
Successful networkers will tell you they’re great at finding new partners and collaborating because they’re continuously listening instead of telling. Being an active listener in every setting will allow you to catch all the relevant details and insights you need to make connections. This goes for online presence, too. Be reviewing conversations online and spot new trends. Follow and interact intelligently with top event influencers. Share posts and topics that elevate others and align with your brand vision, too.
Know Your Value Pitch
Yes, it’s your elevator pitch, but change your perspective a little and call it your value pitch. When you’re networking, online or in person, you’ll get those opportunities to talk about yourself, your services, and your business. When those moments arise, make sure you’re prepared. Don’t get into the weeds about everything. Instead, stick to the broad-stroked value propositions that are unique to your business. Practice these introductions and responses before you network so you’re ready to deliver a homerun pitch.
Setting Networking Goals
Every networking setting presents opportunities to meet new people and land new clients. But if you’re not prepared with goals in mind, your interactions won’t be as productive. Before attending a networking function or venturing online into a networking group, spend some quality time outlining objectives first. What do you need or want to get out of this engagement? How many conversations are you shooting to have? Who among the participant list is a top priority or big fish prospect for you? Create a networking roadmap for yourself before jumping in so you can have a purpose behind your networking connections.
Authenticity Is Key
There are some instances where the “fake it ‘til you make it” method is warranted. Networking isn’t one of them. The biggest industry influencers and leaders will tell you the most effective connections are those rooted in authenticity. Be yourself. Be honest. And don’t hesitate to share challenges or ask for help. The most valuable business relationships are cultivated from a place of authenticity. Being fake about any aspect of your business or professional presence will be detected. So, keep it real with every engagement.
Always Make Time for Networking
Don’t just network once in a while or with a few specific events. The most successful event professionals will tell you the secret to their networking success lies in the ongoing effort to network. Commit to a routine that adds local ribbon cuttings, social events, and fundraisers to your agenda. Get online and explore new groups and professional business growth communities. The more you go, the more people you’ll meet and engage. It’s a networking numbers game that keeps a steady flow of connection opportunities coming.
Keep these insights in mind when you’re evaluating your networking strategy, and you’ll see improved connections and engagements. And speaking of networking, don’t forget to get your Event Planner Expo 2022 tickets for this October to get in the room with thousands of event professionals and top influencers!