Are you making these 7 mistakes at business networking events?

We’ve all been to a networking event where you are either new or don’t know many people. For some, it can be a daunting experience and how others at the event interact with you can make or break your experience.

Has this happened to you?

You arrive pumped up to make some great connections, get your name ticked off the list and then…  you are left standing alone, feeling awkward. You then take your seat and briefly before the presentation begins, you introduce yourself to the person on either side of you. After the presentation, everyone leaves. You’ve met two people and have not had much time to talk to them.  Networking fail.

Have you been guilty of these 7 boo-boos at networking events?

1. Don’t huddle in groups talking to ‘the usual suspects’ that you already know

2. You collect numerous business cards but they just grow in a pile on your desk and you never look at them again.  
3. The only people you network with are the people from your business that you actually came with.
4. Forget people’s names when introducing them to others.
5. You don’t introduce yourself or welcome others who are standing along into your conversation. 
6. Attending networking events without business cards and without a purpose.
7. Be mindful of the look on your face when you talk as you may end up with your picture on social media looking a little silly (oh wait that might just be me as you can see from my picture)

These have all happened to me.

I moved to a new city a few years ago and wanted to make connections to find a fabulous job. So… what did I do? I found a networking event and decided to go and network my socks off and find fabulous job.

I entered to find 5 of the organisers behind the registration table. After introducing myself and telling them I was new and didn’t know anyone I was handed my badge and off I went. I entered the room to huddled groups of people. I introduced myself to some people at the coffee station who wandered back to their groups after making their coffee. I spotted a woman standing alone. I make a bee line to her and started chatting. It was her very first networking event. She was nervous and felt awkward.

After finding out about her and the event she was there to promote, I grabbed her arm and headed for a group of people. I introduced myself and her to the group then the ting-ting ‘please sit down’ announcement happened and that was it. 

But it wasn’t all bad. The woman who I’d approached and talked to contacted me after the event to thank me for putting her at ease and talking to her. We stayed in contact and organised to go to the next networking event together. I got a real buzz out of seeing her confidence rise and it only took a few events before she was working the room like a pro.

You can get yourself up to speed on the most effective ways to network with Business in Heels in Brisbane on 20 February and the Gold Coast on 27 February. Hear from a panel of three networking pros and then put your skills into action and network over a glass or two of bubbles. Get on track with your networking and book your tickets here

Tiffany Slack-Smith