Top Tips for Getting the Most out of Corporate Networking
Putting you and your business out there is vital, not just for growth, but ultimately survival. If you’re not visible, no one is going to consider working with you, so if you’ve taken the plunge and decided to test the water by attending a corporate event, read Ignition Collective’s 10 top tips on how to make the very most of your networking time.
Ensure you have business cards - Business cards are an essential piece of branded collateral that people can keep hold of with your contact details on (#obvs). No one easily remembers names or details, especially when speaking to multiple people on one occasion, so leave them something that they can remember you by. This doesn’t replace listening to and engaging with people on the day, they need to remember who the card belongs to, so always strive to make a great first impression!
Take things - If you are exhibiting at or attending an event, brochures and fliers are key to hand out to provide attendees with more information on your business. Often tailored event fliers with a timed promotion can be a good reason for post-event engagement with your brand. Branded giveaways or merchandise that can be re-used are an awesome way to be useful and be remembered! Always consider your environmental impact; do create or use goods that aren’t wasteful or simply throw-aways; no one wants to see that today.
Ensure you are listed on the event website - Event organisers will more often than not list all of their exhibitors and speakers on their event website to showcase the scale of the event. If you have the opportunity to provide more than a logo or headshot, ensure your company website and social media handles are included as a minimum if possible. This way people can then find and follow you, head to your social media channels or website to find out more about you and your business.
Invite current/prospective clients to the event - This can be an excellent opportunity to showcase your brand and business. If tickets to the event are free, send clients the link to get their tickets. If the event is not free, but you are speaking or exhibiting, enquire with the event organisers whether your attendance comes with a guest pass allowance. Often event organisers will be open to this as it lends itself well to increase their footfall and potential business for following years.
Attend event sessions and presentations - Research the event programme to see if there are presentation sessions taking place that is relevant to your industry or business that you can attend at the event. These sessions often feature work, news and industry updates, Q&A’s and can sometimes allow for an opportunity to speak with the chair/panel/individual speaker after.
Research event sponsors - In advance of the event, LinkedIn can be a useful tool to find, follow and LinkIn with event sponsors, affiliates and key people attending the event that are relevant to your business. Why not reach out to key individuals to suggest meeting onsite.
Note: LinkedIn business pages cannot follow other companies; therefore, you would need to LinkIn with people and follow companies from your personal LinkedIn account.
Research your competitors who are attending - This is a great opportunity to see firsthand what your competitors are doing and saying.
Research other exhibitors and speakers - Is there anyone attending or exhibiting that you’ve been eager to speak to for a while or have not been able to get the contact details for? Contact them to understand who will be onsite in advance and whether there are approaches that can be made either beforehand or onsite.
Promote your attendance - Promote your involvement, tagging in the event and anyone else relevant across your digital channels remembering to tag the event. This way, the event organisers could repost your post or story, allowing for further reach and engagement, and possibly increase followers for you! Make sure you follow the event social media channels and repost/engage with what they’re saying too, an intelligent quote retweet can have much more impact than a simple retweet.
Enhance your onsite presence further - Whether you're exhibiting or attending an event, it can often be in your interest to work closely with event organisers to understand what other opportunities may be available. Are there opportunities to get involved on-site like event sponsorship, event branding, or to hold a speaking session yourself? You might even be able to utilise the event to launch a service or showcase a new product.
All of the above will take your attendance to the next level of awareness and exposure while on-site - sometimes for little cost or effort on your part.
Planning on going to an event and want to bounce some ideas around? We’re always at the end of the phone… Drop us a line and we’d be happy to chat through some of your plans and provide advice!