Many people feel really nervous when they enter unfamiliar territory, probably one of the challenges we fear most in our lives. But with a few preparations, we can tackle our nervousness.
Before a business event:
Spend a few minutes imagining what kind of people you are going to meet. Will there be people you know or only strangers? The minute you have visualized the scenario - you can begin to take your precautions so that you are not paralyzed the moment you enter.
Prepare three smalltalk questions to establish a first contact.
Research the meeting and find out if there are participants you would like to meet.
During a business event:
Adopt an attitude that shows you have been looking forward to this meeting. Smile, look up and enter the room in a confident manner - do not sneak along the walls. Look like a success - successful people are always attractive
If you do not know anyone in the room, contact the “loners”, people who are standing around on their own, and use smalltalk.
If you are familiar with some of the guests, it is okay to say hello and start a conversation. It will calm you down and show that you appreciate them. However, after a few minutes you should move into the room and try to contact some of the participants you do not know.
During your research, you may have run across guests you would like to meet. Try to find the person by enquiring for him. Generally, people will be happy to help out. Remember to express your gratefulness when you are guided towards your goal.
After a business event:
If you meet interesting people - it is crucial that you take the initiative by following up with emails, telephone calls or coffee meetings. When you contact your potential relationship, ask about and listen to his challenges. Do not start by throwing your own challenges. At this point, you are watching each other. Be a good listener and offer your assistance whenever it is possible.
Remember that networking is all about paying in advance! So listen, help and pay. When you need assistance for real, your contacts will be happy to help you and pay you back.