When you are invited to a networking event, you should attend even if you do not have anyone to go with you. I know that going it alone does not sound appealing, we all have to put ourselves in positions that will stretch our limits.
So, what can you bring to the event? You probably won’t believe this, but you are expected to bring your smile and your willingness to mingle. That’s all! No need for nerves to come along either. Trust yourself, you have what it takes.
Keep this in mind, you were invited because the host thought you would represent yourself well and participate in the event in such a way that would draw people to attend future events. Don’t believe me? Well, ask yourself, why are you at the event? It is probably because you heard from your associates that it was a great networking event, see my point? (smile)
Bring your most confident smile and your business cards. Try not to have business cards with crossed-out phone numbers or altered social media links. I know they can be expensive, but if you think you can get away with handwritten business cards and still be taken seriously, be my guest. Just kidding, don’t!
I recently attended an event and met many established entrepreneurs who were prepared to mingle with us, "newbies". It was amazing to me that at the beginning of the event several people either did not bring business cards, or they only brought a few cards and literally told people that they only had planned to give those out under “special circumstances." Can you believe it? Yes, someone actually said that.
Rule of Thumb: you have to be careful how you treat people because you never know whom you just might be entertaining. At a networking event, you will cross paths with the same people again and again. So, let’s refrain from limiting the amount of cards you bring because you deem many of us not worthy.
Bring enough business cards. You don’t have to bring your whole inventory, but bring enough to get you through a few hours.
We all know some attendees are not really there to network. They are there to “say” they were there and have no intention of really doing business outside their circle. That’s frustrating. However, you cannot allow yourself to focus on those few attendees. You must focus on your task at hand and follow through to accomplish what you have strategically sought out to do.
Okay, that's my #MoxieAdvice! Now talk back to me :)