What NOT To Do At a Networking Event

What NOT To Do At a Networking Event

Many business and professional blogs and websites offer endless advice on what to do at a networking event. But what about what not to do? Instead of being the awkward individual lurking around the networking event, be sure to avoid these common networking mistakes and have a successful networking event

Back away from the food

Sure, those finger sandwiches look absolutely scrumptious. You can have one (or maybe two), but do not spend your entire time hoarding food and avoiding human interaction. The point of the event is to meet new individuals within your industry or area. You already know food, move on.

Plus, how professional does it look to walk around with a towering plate and a mouth full of food? Be conscious about your food consumption while at a networking event.

Mind your manners

Didn’t your mother tell you it was rude to interrupt? The same goes for a networking event. If you see two individuals having a conversation, and you are interested in speaking with one or both individuals, wait until their conversation has ended to approach. Interrupting a conversation is considered highly impolite and unprofessional. Think about the impression you want to convey with your new connections. An educated business professional or a rude individual with disregard for manners? Be patient and wait for their conversation to wrap up before approaching either individual.

You know your colleagues, so meet new people

If you attend a networking event with other people from your place of work, try not to spend the entire time with them. The purpose of the event is to meet and interact with new people, so go and do just that!

Don’t just stand there, network!

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Image via ceridianblog.wordpress.com

Unfortunately, it is all too common for people to attend a networking event and spend the entire time standing and waiting for someone to approach them. Instead of being Awkward Andy in the corner, take initiative and seek out other professionals who may be a great connection for your career.

Yes, No, Maybe So

Starting a conversation may be difficult. Asking a question with a yes/no answer will make sparking a conversation even more challenging. Instead of asking questions with straightforward answers, ask intriguing and thought provoking question to keep the conversation flowing.

What was my goal again?

When you attend a networking event, go in with a plan. Are you looking to increase leads for your business? Perhaps you are on the hunt for strategic partners for your latest project. Whatever your goal may be, stay on track. If you leave the event unaccomplished, you most likely got distracted and forgot all about your business networking goal. 

By avoiding these common networking mistakes, you’ll be on track to success in no time. Put your new networking skills to the test at the upcoming Sertoma Club of Nashville meetings.