Networking events provide a great opportunity to chat with other business people that you don’t get to see that often, but it’s important to remember that time is limited and we shouldn’t take up too much of any one person’s time.
With that in mind, what are some things to focus on? What are the things that people really want to know from you at each event?
Any new projects, partnerships, or ventures? As a business connection, people don’t want to hear your latest sales pitch, but they do want to know what you are doing and where you are focusing your energy, so they can recommend potential clients your way when they come up. Don’t overwhelm them with information, just give them the highlights of what you’ve been up to since you last saw them.
Who to meet
Is there anyone new to the business scene that they should meet? Perhaps you just met someone who has an awesome new startup, or you met someone new to town at a previous event that your connection should meet. People appreciate you helping them to expand their network with quality business people. These light referrals give you bonus points in both person’s eyes. If it ends up being a lucrative connection, they may be especially thankful and remember you even more in the future.
What’s coming up
Make sure to mention to your connection what events are coming up that you are attending. People always appreciate learning about a new event, and spreading the word will help the event to gather the greatest entrepreneurs in Ottawa. Be sure to mention where they can get tickets, if necessary, and tell them where you heard of it. Lots of times new events spring up and it takes word of mouth to get them up and running.
Where’s the food
If all else fails and you can’t think of what to talk about, mention the food! Point out where the drinks are, or where the food is (this works especially well if there are roaming servers with trays). It may be a small talk, but it’s better than nothing. Not all conversations have to be deep to be meaningful! You can parlay talk about the event’s food into talk about restaurants in town, new recipes, cooking shows, and more. Be creative!
The continued connections that you make with people are what really counts. Keep your relationships going by purchasing your tickets to the next eSAX Ottawa networking event!