Informal Networking Opportunities are the ones that we might not think of as networking e.g. a casual chat in line at the grocery store. Online Networking Opportunities - networking sites, discussion groups and communities etc. Formal Networking Opportunities - These are the more formal, business meet-and-greet opportunities
Networking Events—What to Do Do arrive on time. Do relax and he yourself. Don’t be afraid to be fully self-expressed. Do smile and be friendly. Do focus on giving. Do prepare for the event. Learn the names of the organizers and some the key players. Identify what and how you can share with others it the function. Do introduce yourself to the person hosting the event. Do introduce yourself to the bigwig. Don’t forget that successful and busy people always have more on their plate than they can reasonably handle. They’re always looking for talented people to help make their life easier. If you can help reduce someone’s stress level, you’ve made a friend for life. Do offer something when first meeting someone, whenever possible. If you can leave him feeling even better, more uplifted, and energized after his interaction with you, he’s going to remember you. Do start conversations by asking questions. Do identify two or three things you’d like to learn from the people at the function. People are drawn to others who are curious and interested. Do make eye contact. It expresses respect and interest in the person you’re speaking with. Do wear comfortable clothing. Do take the initiative. Go up to people and make friends. Do offer a firm handshake. Don’t think you need to shake hands differently with a woman than you do with a man. A firm handshake (not a death grip) is always appropriate. Do be inclusive. Ask others to join your conversations. Don’t monopolize people, especially those who are in high demand, if you want to be helpful, ask the speaker if there is anybody you can introduce her to, or simply be sure to keep including people in your conversations with her. Do ask for a business card and then keep in touch. It’s your responsibility to ask for a card if you want one, and it’s your responsibility to follow up. Remember, just because someone gives you his business card does not mean you have permission to add him to your mailing list or e-zine list. Do have a pen with you always. When you receive a business card, write a little note about any commitment to follow up. Be sure to include the date and name of the function where you met.
Networking Events—What Not to Do Don’t try to be cool. Don’t brag about your success; this is a major turn-off.