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Networking for Newbies

Kim Lucio

This week I attended a networking event with the American Marketing Association. The event was held in Chicago, and over 100 marketers and industry professionals showed up to mix and mingle with one another. The event was a huge success, and I took away a lot of great tips and advice from people there.

Although it seems like an easy thing to do, you might want to brush up on some etiquette and socializing tips before you enter in to a networking event. Here are some tips to ensure you have a successful night:

Be ready to engage

When you first walk in, be sure you are smiling and ready to meet people. Try to avoid being on your phone or texting someone. That will make it seem like you aren’t very excited to be there. Also, if you come with a friend, don’t spend the entire time talking to each other. Going with a group can help ease the nervousness and have a very positive effect, just make sure you are all ready to engage with others.

Have your cards handy

It sounds simple, but you’ll find that when it comes time to doing the business card exchange most are struggling with what pocket they have theirs in. The best thing to do is have it handy and in your right pocket or a shirt pocket so that you don’t have to fumble around looking for one.

Another business card tip: keep your personal business cards separate from the ones you receive. The last thing you want to do is have a really great conversation with someone and then hand them someone else’s business card that was given to you earlier in the night.

Drink in left, please

A tip I learned from a #u30pro chat on Twitter, if you are holding a beverage, keep it in your left hand. This is a good tip for when you go to shake someone’s hand. No one wants to shake someone’s hand that is cold and wet, never a good first impression.

Always be responsible

Lastly, please do not go crazy with the open bar opportunity. You don’t want to not remember your night of talking with business professionals. Even worse, you don’t want to make a bad impression. Professionalism always prevails!