Networking with Purpose: 5 Tips to Better Form Strategic Connections

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: professional; networking

You know how to network, but do you really know how to work a room and form lasting, strategic relationships? Don’t just attend networking events and New York conferences to be a wallflower. Don’t just hang with colleagues and friends you know. And don’t just mingle. Follow these tips and insights to infuse your networking efforts with purpose and walk away with new strategic partnerships, clients, and referrals every time.

1. Prepare with Networking Goals and Homework

Do some homework about the New York event you’re attending. Who will be in attendance that represents a strong partnership or client prospect? Does the cause or purpose of the event align with other projects in your wheelhouse right now? Is there an additional opportunity to speak or showcase your business there? Once you fully understand all the potential opportunities, you can set networking goals for yourself, like the number of connections you’d like to make. 

2. Networking 101: Arrive on Time

Fashionably late really isn’t a thing anymore. And if you show up late or unprepared to an event, people will notice. You’ll also be at a disadvantage because networking groups have already formed, and conversations have already started. Meaning, to insert yourself, you might have to interrupt someone else’s flow. Instead, arrive to your business event early and on time. Give yourself time to grab a drink and survey the room. 

3. Bring Your High-Energy, Event Planning Personality

If you feel like networking is a chore, and you attend with the mentality that you’re not all that enthused to be there, it’ll show. And no one wants to engage with someone who’s bored, uninterested, or uninspired. Instead, walk into each opportunity with that high-energy and enthusiasm you carry when you’re event planning. Bring that charming personality and winning attitude. You’ll find you become a magnet, and everyone will want to talk to you.

4. Help Three Others with Their Networking Needs

As part of your goal-setting for upcoming event, prepare to be a giver as much as a taker. Commit to meeting and connecting with two or three professionals who might need something from you. Give referrals, offer advice, or help introduce people to key connections within your own circles. You’ll earn a reputation for being a high-valued networking contact who’s interested in supporting others, which in turn, inspires others to support you.

5. Make Plans and Follow Up

Walk away from each engagement event with a plan to follow up with each new contact you meet. Give it a day and then follow up with an email, recapping your conversation and asking for the lunch or a meeting. Connect and stay connected to nurture those first-time networking engagements in long-lasting relationships.

Don’t just mingle at networking events. Get inspired by these tips and start networking with real purpose. And speaking of networking, make sure you get your tickets for the #1 Events Industry networking event – The Event Planner Expo 2023!


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