After more than a year of lockdowns, social distancing and cancelled events – it’s fair to say that the world is getting a bit bored with the coronavirus pandemic.
But optimism is in the air! Now that the world is slowly starting to return to some semblance of normality, there is currently a newfound sense of things just getting back to normal – and that’s never been such a good thing.
As such, many businesses and business owners are starting to look to the future, coming up with flawless strategies to ensure the post-pandemic world of work moves as swimmingly as possible.With this in mind, we thought we’d shine the spotlight on a key area many businesses will have missed out on during the pandemic: event networking.
Join us as we run through some of the key things to bear in mind when returning to the world of event networking, highlighting what you should and shouldn’t to network your business as successfully as possible.
Do: Network your business
Since you’re already at a networking event, why not go out and speak to some other businesses yourself? That way, you will be able to see and take inspiration from what they’re doing to engage with customers.
We have to support each other in the post-pandemic world, fostering good relationships with other businesses can be a great way of creating more collaboration-based opportunities, which could potentially lead to gaining new customers, revenue and investment support as a result.
Encouraging conversation about other external networking event opportunities like golf, for instance, could help cement business relationships that will prove fruitful both now and in the future.
Do: Use it as a recruitment opportunity
Networking doesn’t just have to be about the businesses – it should be about the individuals too. Coming out of the pandemic, your company needs quality to help you recover from this trying period.
At networking events, you get the chance to speak with some of the most talented professionals in your industry. Don’t pass up that opportunity.
Think about the skills and roles that your business needs and be mindful of them as you network.
Don’t: Be disorganised
If it sounds obvious, you’ll be surprised how many businesses turn up at networking events just to play it by ear. In essence, attending a networking event is like a sales pitch, offering you the chance to sell yourself and your business to other interested parties. As such, the more organised you can be, the better you will come across.
Investors and potential clients will love being able to see how passionate and motivated you are about your business so, don’t be afraid to show that to them. Be confident and prepare your ‘pitch’ in advance so that, should any awkward questions come up, you’ll know how to answer them effectively.
Do: Follow the COVID rules
While on the topic of setting a good impression, it is imperative you do your bit to follow the government’s guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
You don’t want to be the only business at the event flaunting and rules, and coming across like you’re not bothered about keeping other people safe. It’s worth making the effort and presenting yourself in the best possible light.
Therefore, make sure you have hand sanitiser readily available, avoid shaking hands with anyone and try to maintain a safe social distance away from anybody you come in contact with.
Don’t: Forget to take contact details
It’s all well and good doing the best sales pitch ever and having the most beautiful looking print materials but, if you fail to take notes of who you were talking with, it could all be for nothing.
As such, make sure you record the contact details of everyone you meet so that you can then follow up with them once the event is over.
To do this effectively, either set up a basket or bowl for interested attendees to drop their personal business cards into. Alternatively, print and design a guestbook where they can write their details down instead.
Do: Utilise print materials
Attending a networking event under-prepared will prove to be a big turn off for a lot of customers and investors. Therefore, it could be worth both your time and money biting the bullet and investing in a few print materials.
Whether it be a business card to hand out to interested clients, a flyer explaining what it is your company does, a leaflet highlighting your key success stories or mistake-free artwork designed to draw the eye, printed materials like these will not only encourage more people to come to you but it will also help set a lasting impression.
You’re ready to mingle
While it may have been a while since you were able to attend a networking event, now is the ideal time to brush up on your pitch and get back to what you do best: bringing in new clientele.
The key thing to remember is that confidence and a strong level of organisation are imperative. Without these attributes in your arsenal, your networking pitch could only end up falling on deaf ears.
Therefore, take the time now to get organised. Print your marketing materials, run through your pitch, abide by the guidelines and then, when the time comes to network your business, you should feel a lot more confident as a result.