You need a plan of attack if you want to make your social networking experience productive. Create an event card to help you navigate your next networking engagement and come out with fruitful new contacts.
Photo by coba.
Over at the productivity blog Stepcase Lifehack they've put together a guide to making the most of your time at a social networking event. Whether you're at a mixer for local business people or an international conference you can benefit from creating an event card.
An event card is exactly like an old school dance card. But instead of scheduling dances with pretty people, you'll be marking off successful connections with your targets. The simplest version is a plain list of names. That'll work if you have an amazing memory and ability to place lots of new names with faces. But most of us aren't so gifted.
I prefer to make small cards that include a name, photo, major interests, a thought I had after reading one of my target's recent blog posts, and a few people also at the event I think they'd enjoy meeting. Putting the time into researching a contact before meeting them has never, ever turned out to be a waste of time for me. It's an act of faith that has always returned far more than I invested.
If you want to really do things nicely, add your target contact's image and information to a special contacts list on your smart phone. That way, when you do get contact information from your new friend, you won't have to enter anything but their number or email address. If they ask you about why you had their information programmed into your phone already, just tell them you're a big fan and had planned on meeting them. After all, you are and you did! =)
Check out the full article for more great tips on how to maximise the effectiveness of your time at the event, including conducting preliminary research and building a presence. Have a tip of your own for successful social networking? Let's hear about it in the comments.
5 Steps to Conquer Any Networking Event [Stepcase Lifehack]