Here Is How To Grow Yourself And Your Brand Through Networking Events
There are several advantages to attending business networking conferences. Networking events will help you increase the visibility of your company, provide you with ample opportunities to socialize with like-minded individuals, and also present you with the opportunity to craft opportunities that can help your business grow and develop.
The increased number of virtual networking events has increased the opportunities for entrepreneurs to meet up and share ideas. The best part about virtual events is that most of them are free. If you are planning on attending an FSB business networking conference in the near future, we have compiled tips on how you can make the best use of this opportunity.
- Craft a Strategy Beforehand
Before the day of the conference, try and decide how you want you and your company to gain from your presence. For example, you may want to:
• Increase the visibility of your company to prospective customers
• Get help attracting new customers through referrals from some attendees at the conference
• Acquire new contacts and learn new things in your industry
If you are not a prolific attendee at networking conferences, try to get involved in as many as you can. On attending a new conference, identify regulars and ask for help identifying groups who may help you advance your agenda.
- Perfect Your Pitch
In order to make an indelible impression on those that you meet, create a stunning elevator pitch for your business. In your pitch include the following:
• Your professional expertise and experience in your industry
• Your unique selling points
• Testimonials that provide credence to your claims that your products or services are a market changer
Try to ensure that your pitch is concise and easy-to-follow. For maximum effect, try bringing props, business cards and other marketing materials along when attending networking conferences.
- Move Around the Room
You may be tempted to constantly interact with people that you have met in past conferences but it is important to remember the key reason why networking conferences are organized – to enable you to meet people outside your usual circles. On attending a conference, try and identify people that you have not met in the past, approach them, and then strike a conversation.
If you can identify a newbie attendee, approach them and make them feel welcome. A friendly welcome in these events is often the precursor to a lasting professional relationship.
- Plan to Attend Future Events
Networking is all about building trust in the people that you meet – and this can take time. Attending future networking conferences will help you strengthen relationships that you started previously while also giving other attendees the opportunity to follow up on any queries they may have. Though your business may not immediately benefit from your first attendance, your consistent presence in future events will eventually pay off.
- Show Interest in Others
Every individual at the conference will be looking to gain something by the end of the event. For this reason, even as you pitch your business, it is important that you also listen to others.
By listening to others, you will be able to identify other attendees with whom you have shared values and objectives. You may also meet people who can make useful referrals.
To show your interest in others, ask open questions. The resulting answers will widen the horizons of conversations with others.
- Follow-Up with Other Attendees
It is important that you are proactive in following up with other entrepreneurs since the most important part of networking conferences is what happens once the events are concluded.
You can use social media platforms such as LinkedIn to connect with people that you meet.
- Make Introductions Where Appropriate
If you come across a business owner who shares values and objectives with another individual you had met previously, introduce the two individuals or ensure that one party gets contact details for the other party. For example, you can give out a phone number, LinkedIn profile, or email address.