At the recent Travel Albertaconference I had a chance to see some amazing networking in action.
Here are 3 quick tips for you;
1. go with a plan in mind
2. ask favorite colleagues to make some introductions for you
3. follow up
Like any good strategy it takes some effort and homework to ensure success. In advance, have a look thru the list of attendees. Focus not only on people that you feel can advance your initiatives but also on those people to whom you can bring something of value.
Second, think about the people you will know at the event and reach out and ask them to make some introductions for you. Recently a colleague of mine took a position with a fabulous new hotel and needed to meet certain people in the community. I was thrilled when she asked me to help her with introductions. Remember, most people are flattered when asked to provide assistance or expertise.
Third and most importantly, follow up! This is the step that often falls by the wayside after the glow of an event fades. Research shows that at least 5 attempts to follow up are necessary to close a sale. I believe the same is true in order to meet with success from networking.
Now you may be asking yourself, how am I going to find the time for each of these steps. My question to you is, can you afford not to make the time. We all know the value of networking so make sure it brings value to your business.