For those who have attended Nordic Business Forum before, it’s no news that we think highly of networking. We feel that building new connections is an essential part of attending business seminars, which is why we put a lot of effort into making networking easy for you at our events. We have a couple of tools for you to use, but we also want to equip you with our best tips for networking.
First of all, the simplest way to network at our event is to connect with people at the themed tables. These tables are situated in the networking area (check map here) and each table has a clearly communicated theme. Find a theme that you are interested in or want to learn about and connect with people who share the same interest. Simple and easy!
The other networking tool we offer you is Brella. Brella is an easy-to-use, web-based networking tool that helps you to meet people at the event. You just have to sign up, specify what you are looking for and what you have to offer and the tool will sort out the most relevant people for you. Note, that people book meetings already well in advance before the event, so be early! Read more about Brella here.
As we want you to get the most out of these tools and the #NBForum2016 event in general, we gathered some networking tips for you. These 15 steps derive from our own experiences and proven good practices. We guarantee that by taking these suggestions into account before, during and after the event, you will get valuable connections from our event.
15 tips for effective networking at #NBForum2016:
- Log into Brella well in advance in order to prepare and book meetings early. The early bird catches the worm!
- Before the event/meetings, do some research on the person you are planning to meet. Also get to know the companies the person represent.
- Before the event/meetings prepare to introduce yourself/your business in 30 seconds.
- Before the event/meetings set goals for yourself and keep them in mind throughout the whole event. This way you focus on getting what you need.
- Before the meetings prepare yourself with a couple of good questions for the person you plan to meet. This way you can keep the conversation rolling the whole time.
- Remember to take your business cards and keep them with you all the time. Make sure they are clean and neat as that piece of cardboard affects the impression you give to others.
- During the meeting take some notes if needed, because those notes will help you remember what you discussed. You can also write a few notes behind each business card you receive, in order to remember what you discussed and agreed with each person.
- Don’t sell on the first meeting. Typically in business seminars everybody is there to sell, but rarely people are there to buy. Focus on building a relationship, creating a connection and providing value.
- Be interested, rather than interesting. Rather than trying to impress others with your product or business, try to find out what your new connection needs and is interested in. That’s how you find out if and where you have common ground.
- Focus! When meeting a person, be 100% present with that person in that moment. There’s a lot going on, but during the meeting focus on that person and that person only.
- During the meeting agree on concrete next step with the person you meet. This is probably the single most important step in the meeting – action.
- Follow up with the person you met with an email within 24 hours, so you show that you appreciated the time that the person gave you.
- Remember to also connect with the people sitting next to you in the seminar hall, during lunch or standing next to you in a queue. Who knows, the contact you were looking for might be closer than you think.
- If you attend the event with a group of people you already know, it might be a good choice to separate from them from time to time. When you are alone, you are more likely to meet new people and connect with people you don’t know yet.
- Be yourself! Networking is about building a relationship with people. In the best-case scenario, the person you meet will become a customer, partner or even a friend. By being yourself, this is more likely to happen.
BONUS: Apply Gary Vaynerchuk’s 51/49-rule; whatever the relationship, always give more value than you get!
Now, just go and connect!