Follow These Networking Tips
In 2010 social media became more and more popular, my colleague Andrew and I were avid of information about social media, marketing and business development. Those were our reasons to start attending networking events.
Networking is something that came naturally to both of us, we are friendly and have been to networking events in the past, being for business or even art expositions. Meeting interesting people face to face fascinated us. And even more when we met people that we only knew online.
We quickly understood that we needed to bring our online contacts to an offline level. There was so much more to talk about, to share, to know and to build. Conversation got deeper and deeper.
It is always important to add value to an event. Attendees love it when there is a little surprise. At Evenkai we used to have giveaway bags for our atendees, making sure everyone gets one when they get back home. When I was on high school, me and 3 other friends organized a cultural festival at school, with drawings, poems, and a series of mini-concerts that a band we put together, doing playback, playing fake guitars we fabricated. I always had the idea to add value to an event, so during those mini-concerts were handing candy and toys to the audience. They went nuts, it was like Christmas!
The creation of Evenkai
A big part of the people in our network became friends; we started to meet from time to time to have a drink, to talk and to have more interaction. That made us start a series of networking events called Evenkai.
We build a new division of KAI Design: the events division. Which started to take a lot of our time, and we loved it! We created an event each month; we invited our contacts who work in communications and marketing, or business owners to be the speakers and share their success story and tips with the rest of our community.
The events quickly grew to have a steady number of 60 to 70 people every time, our regulars loved the concept of having a casual talk with other people who were not interested in only exchanging business cards, but to know more about the person, and if there was a business connection afterwards it was even better.
A lot of people asked me how do I do to talk to people I have never met before. People feel awkward, get nervous and don’t know how to start a conversation.
The truth is that I care about the people I meet and I think that we can learn from anybody. So I created a conversation to find a point in common. Than build a conversation from there.
I compiled a couple of Networking tips that I publish on my twitter account @luislondon which will help you ignite a conversation. Go ahead and use any of these questions, any of them will help you know more about the person you have in front of you.
Start a conversation by asking one of the following questions:
- What got you involved in this event?
- What made you decide to go into your career?
- What has been your biggest professional accomplishment so far?
- What exactly do you do at your company?
- What advice will you give me if I wanted to be successful in your domain?
Feel free to check my video on Networking tips: