Say the word networking and people tend to recoil in horror… At best it sounds tedious, and at worst, sends a shiver down the spine at the thought of having to ‘work a room’ full of strangers. You can bet that if you’re feeling anxious about getting out there at a networking event, however, others will be too.
With networking-on-steroids opportunity MIPIM on the near horizon, our property communications expert Maria Murphy shares her top five tips for turning every opportunity to your advantage:
- Do your research
Don’t even think about just winging it! Check out the speakers, get hold of the delegate list and read up on what the industry is blogging or tweeting about. Knowing who’s who and what’s hot means you’ll be able to hold your own in any conversation, make meaningful contributions, demonstrate your knowledge of the property sector and hold the interest of the people you’re speaking to.
- Work the room respectfully
Remember, everyone is there for the same reason – to meet people, catch up with old contacts, have some interesting conversations and expand their network, with the ultimate aim of making connections and generating business.
Just think of it as having conversations with different people at the event. You can also act as a facilitator – people will remember you if you’ve introduced them to a valuable new contact and will perceive you as well connected in their industry.
- Collect the cards
It might sound obvious, but do get the contact details of everyone you meet – and jot down a few personal details on each card as a memory jog. There’s nothing worse than making a good connection and losing them the minute you leave the room.
- Don’t forget social
Everyone loves being mentioned in a social post – it’s flattering to them and will help grow your social network as people will usually return the favour and retweet/share. A good way to get well connected is to share snippets of speaker content you’ve found particularly interesting, and tag the speaker. Not to overlook the fact that linking to valuable and, critically, relevant content on your website is a quick win in boosting your SEO.
- Value yourself
Have the confidence that your opinion matters, and also have the confidence to ask questions. Having your voice heard and placing a value on your thoughts will increase your sense of natural authority – and build trust among others in your knowledge and experience of the industry.
If you’d like to meet up in Cannes next month, get in touch with me at Maria.Murphy@rdpr.co.uk. Alternatively, you can get in touch with my colleagues Lisa.Morton@rdpr.co.uk or Alex.Bell@rdpr.co.uk, who will be attending the conference with me.