Ten tips to be your best at the next virtual networking event
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Ten tips to be your best at the next virtual networking event

7 months ago · 2 min read

You are scheduled to attend a virtual networking event and you want to be on top of your game. You are feeling a little angst because you have not connected with these referral sources or colleagues recently and want to differentiate yourself without having the advantage of being in person.

Explore these ten tips to help you to be your best and get the most from the gathering.

  • Set clear expectations
    Identify what you want to gain from attending the session. Write down a few outcomes that you would like to achieve. These can include:

    • Reconnect with specific people that you have not spoken with recently

    • Understand the latest trends and new opportunities in the marketplace

    • Identify ideas for new services, general client content or client events that you can collaborate on with referral sources

  • Review the agenda
    Look closely at the event agenda. Understand what will be expected of you. Get clear on any items that you will be responsible to present or ideas you want to share.

  • Know who will attend
    Review the attendee list and note who is planning to be there. Do you know all of them? Are you connected on social media? Review their LinkedIn profiles so you can learn a little about each one. Identify common connections and areas of practice. Feel free to connect with the ones you know and let them know you will be attending.

  • Prepare your comments in advance
    Spend time thinking about what you want to say. Make some notes to guide your remarks during the event. Tailor your comments to the people that will be there. Think about messages that will resonate with them. Focus on what you want them to remember about you.

  • Help others understand what you do
    Talk about what you do in terms of specifics rather than generalities, such as “I am a tax specialist.” Share comments related to an actual experience or a recent client project. Talk about what you did for the client and the value they gained. Share how you felt when they expressed their appreciation for your assistance.

  • Tell a story
    A powerful way to connect with others is to tell a story that is meaningful to you. Your story allows someone to briefly enter your world and understand what you experienced. Recount a time when you felt proud about something you did such as assisting a client facing a shift in their supply chain or a new idea you discovered to help them operate more efficiently.

  • Listen intently and take notes
    It is easy to focus your attention during the event on your agenda and what you want to say. While this is natural, it is important to focus on the other attendees. Listen carefully to what they say. Take notes to remember important comments.

  • Be curious and ask good questions
    As you listen closely to others, questions will emerge. When you have the opportunity, ask a question. It will demonstrate your interest. Questions also allow others to expand the conversation and provide you with greater insight into their situation. Your interest and curiosity are important elements in building relationships and developing trust with others.

  • Look for opportunities to collaborate
    During the event, be on the lookout for ways that you can collaborate with and refer business to members of the group. Do you serve on a board or an association that could benefit from their expertise? Could someone serve as a speaker for an upcoming panel discussion, provide an article or be part of a podcast? Do you have a client that could use their services?

  • Follow up
    After the event, follow up with those whom you had a common connection. Send them a message. Connect on LinkedIn or invite them to a virtual coffee and get to know them better. Share ideas that you had during the event for ways to collaborate and refer business.

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