We get to go to lot of networking events where we meet interesting people and have a good time but i allways hear people complaining about the need to make small talk .Here is my take on how to make the most of these networking events
I saw this interesting tweet on #dubailife and it made me think of alll the small talk that i have to put up with at the networking events .
Mohammad Hamad @BucketfulOfHate
1-Where r u from 2-How long have u been here 3-What do u do 4-Where do u live 5-how do u know X (if with X) When meeting anyone #dubailife
If you go these events once in a while then doing the small talk will not seem like an issue but if you go to them every other day then then the small talk can do you brains in but why should one go to so these crazy networking events which are often not enjoyable ?
Networking events are like a lottery that you sometimes have to try .You chances of winning it are often slim but you have to give it a shot just in case.I think i could do better and bigger post on networking events as i am doing one every other day so i will be talking about them a lot but i have just come back from a big networking event and a football match so wont be writing much in this post before i collapse on my bed
The key to success in networking events lies in offering something distinct from the crowd to the right person.
There are two extreme ways of connecting with people in these events.Either spending the whole time at the event with one person or spending the event going from one person to another in a speed dating fashion hoping to end up with the right person.The later approach rarely works and is often counter productive and can get you labelled as a thick skinned person.Imagine if someone comes to you at an event and introduces themselves and you do the small talk and invest twenty minutes of your time talking to them and now that you are getting curious about them they leave you telling you that they have to mingle and you should catch up with them later or leave off with some other excuse .
But it is hard to go to a networking event and find the person that you connect with right away and you have to sometimes end up like a rolling stone kissing many frogs till you find the proverbial ‘prince’.This is something i despise about these and it always provokes me to never go back to them .
The most successful experiences i have had at events were where i spent almost all of the time at the event establishing rapport with a single person and then flowered(poetic word !) the connection into a stronger one post event .But meeting lot of people and making small talk helps me to understand the rationale behind people’s attendance at events
Here are few tips that i have for success at networking events which have worked for me at one or another time.
In a big networking event,stand alone instead of spending time with people you are not interested in being with.If you are alone ,atleast you will be quick to meet someone you would rather connect with as you wont have to waste time in ending the conversations
If an event turns out to be a meatmarket which happens with lot of events in Dubai due to various factors spend time with one person if you can find someone or leave it quickly as the more time you spend in a place like that the more chances of you getting a bad taste of the whole networking events
Avoid finger food!! Its always calorific.Its always good to eat before the event
If you connect with someone and spend a long time conversing at the event offer to go to another venue to continue the conversation to build better rapport
If you hear from someone that they have just come at a networking event to just generally meet people there are high chances they are not telling you why they are there .Everyone’s after something at a networking event .
If you want business form someone at a networking event ask for it either in the beginning of conversation or as soon as possible.Exchanging numbers and business cards to pop the question the next day never works.You have to strike the deal the same day and the same time!!!
Dont generalise people and dont be racist .Analysing a crowd could require assumptions but it always pays off positively to defy you assumptions and be more open. You never know who you are talking to
Dont be afraid that the person you have just met won’t get your humour.If it doesn’t go down well with them ,its nothing wrong with you
If someone is trying to show disinterest in you or looking keenly at the crowd around you while talking to you let them go
Look how people engage with you or your friends .They tend to make superficial small talk with people they are taking less seriously and emotionally and intellectually engaging talk with people they take seriously and want to have long term connection with
Dont seek refuge in your phone if you are not enjoying a conversation;)Go home instead .there are so many other things you could be doing at the same time
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