Community building or personal networking is one of the best tools available to further your career be it job search, business relations or freelancing, and personal networking events are like breeding grounds to expand your professional community and gain valuable contacts.
Whatever may be your expectation from these events, your personal impact and communication skills are essential to it. Social Event communication is much more than showing up, grabbing free snacks, and swapping business cards. It's about building new relationships, gaining valuable contacts and expanding your community.
And to get the most out of these events, it is important to prepare for it professionally. Part 2/6
Clarity on objective(s) of your attendance.
After you register for your next community event, make sure you understand your own expectations from attending the event. Whether you expect to get a job opportunity, gain valuable contacts, avail freelancing opportunities, or simply expand your network. It is just as important that your expectations are reasonable.
Define your goal(s) for the event based on your expectations. If you want to expand your network, aim to connect with at least 3 professionals of your community. If you are a freelancer look for the right decision makers.
At one of the events that I attended recently, I came across a freelance editor who was clear about her goals and intentions. She scribbled quick notes on prospective clients. And took initiative and introduced herself to them. Just like this young editor, we need to have a strategy in place to reach our goals.
I was pleased to meet her as I had been looking to connect with a good editor for a long time. We exchanged our visit cards, intending to stay connected via social media.
Another important thing to remember is to always be yourself. Do not try to mould yourself to please or convince another person. We network to build relations which should have the foundation of truth, if they are to grow stronger. We should have confidence on our own abilities and skills.
We meet and talk to so many people for the first time that it is easy to mix things up. Take few minutes away, every now and then, make notes on their respective visit cards, for easy recall later.
Remember, the purpose of a networking event is to connect with people in the future, and this will make following up with them much, much easier.
Many times, when we are faced with uncertainty, we self-talk negatively and start expecting the worse to happen. Well, you can only find what you are looking for.
If negative is what you are expecting, why would you find positive. The trick is to look for the positive and forget the negative.
Have a strategy
Taking things as they come come may work on other occasions, but in these situations, if you don’t give your expectations and goals some space in your mind, you may regret it. So, have a strategy in place to reach our objective.
After you have defined your main objective, outlined your goals and sketched your broad strategy to reach these goals and achieve your objective, you are ready to attend your event with a clear purpose to attain.
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