Top 3 Tips for Networking & Making Connections at a Trade Show

After our recent sponsorship of the Prepaid MVNO Networking Event in London, I asked a colleague how she felt it had gone. She promptly replied that although she finds networking and meeting new people in general rather intimidating she puts the following 3 processes in place to pave her way more smoothly.

  1. Get Pre-Funky

Short for ‘pre-function’ this is a meeting, usually in a bar or restaurant, where fellow attendees meet before the doors open and informally chat. Alcohol isn’t necessarily required, but a good sense of humour and a few witty anecdotes usually help. Then once inside the event you’ll have a few friendly faces to start you off and ease your passage into the masses of new ones.

 

Getting pre-funky takes a bit of organisation before hand; My colleague joined the event’s group on Linked in and commented in a discussion or two on subjects that are of particular interest to her. The day before the event she mentioned that if any of the other group members were interested in speaking in person she’d be at the hotel bar an hour before kick off.

  1. 2. Dynamic Duo

Admittedly, this one takes a bit more nerve. You look for another person that looks as uncomfortable as you feel and approach them. You start a conversation with them as you know you have at least one common interest and with a bit of luck you’ll also like them. For the rest of the evening you can approach others who also look like they might be on their own, together. Before long, you’ll have a merry little clan that others will flock to and by the end of the evening you’ll have spoken to most of the people there and made some useful connections.

 


3. Keep in touch

After all the hard work you have put in to make your presence felt at one event keep in touch with your connections. You should send emails occasionally just to keep in the loop and connect via social media. You don’t want to be like a friend from holiday that just doesn’t know when to go away, however you are both working in the same/similar industries so are bound to cross paths again. Before attending your next event invite your previous contacts to get pre-funky!

Bonus Tip: Smile