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 3/6
At a community or networking event you are the product. So, presentation is important. What impression you leave on others affect your own future prospects. So, present yourself well.
Dress to impress but without compromising on your comfort. Semi-formal to casual attire would be suitable for these occasions. Well fitted outfit and good quality fabric suitable to seasonal conditions is preferable.
Footwear should be extremely comfortable because standing and movement could vary from event to event as per the arrangements of the organizers. Ladies like to wear heels. No harm in that if you can carry it for long hours too.
I don’t wear stilettos at formal events, rather I find wedge or platform heels more suitable on such occasions. Afterall who can focus on talking with aching feet.
Select relevant accessories
Subtle accessories are best for the formal gatherings, we can be lenient if the gathering is informal. Some of my best big sized handbags are reserved for events and presentations. I keep the bling stuff for the parties.
A good handbag has a place for everything and anything right from pen, note pad to makeup for retouching. Light make up that boosts your confidence with light lipsticks as per skin tone seems proper.
When deciding your complete attire, keep in mind the pockets. Pockets, big enough to keep sufficient visit cards, that can be presented quickly without fumbling and rummaging through all your pockets. These pockets can either be the outer pockets of your handbags of the pockets of your outfit.
Your business card
The business card is the sharpest tool in your arsenal of network building. A well-designed business card will state your name, describe your job and your contacts.
The design, layout and the colours vary as per the job and represents the personality of the individual. Now a days a wide variety of cards designs, and shapes are available. QR codes are trendy nowadays particularly for those with online presence like bloggers, web writers, web designers, etc. Visit cards can be designed and ordered online.
Always present the card face-up with the text facing the recipient so they can read the text as the card is being handed to them.
Since this is a marketing event, it would be smart to carry extra cards on top of what you expect to use. Small card holder to keep your cards and a card wallet to keep the cards that you receive boost your organizational skills.
Use your business card prudently
Lastly, but not least, don’t spam with your business card. It is rude and immature to distribute your cards to as many as possible after little interactions. Spend quality time getting to know each person.
Wait for the other person to request your contacts or show indications to keep in touch. Or request the other’s contact details to show your interest.
There cannot be fixed rules, just loose guidelines, you just learn to go with the flow of each experience. I found an interesting article regarding business card etiquettes here.
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