Networking events can be a great opportunity to get your foot in the door with people, but you don't want to go in blind. Writing follow-up emails to the people you're hoping interact with before the event can help you lay out a mission plan in your mind.
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Follow-up emails usually come after you've met someone, but they can be just as helpful when you use them as a road map for the whole event. Robbie Samuels, event organiser and networking expert, suggests you write follow-up emails -- without sending them -- to the people you plan to meet:
By typing out your "it was great to meet you" notes before you actually meet the person, you create for yourself a rough draft of what you'll say when you're face-to-face. For shy or introverted people, this is especially helpful: You won't stammer or struggle to make conversation, because you'll have already thought about -- and written out -- what you want to discuss.
On top of that, your follow-up emails will be ready to go so you don't forget to touch base with them afterward. You'll probably want to make some revisions to make sure you actually mention the things you talked about, but at least you have a nice to-do list for the folks you want to reach out to.