Networking at a business convention and arts festival is an important skill that requires practice along with focused effort.
I would say that it takes more than just being an outgoing personality. Yes, you need to focus your energies in order to be truly effective at networking.
Here are some guidelines for you on how to network during convention or arts festival
Effective Planning is Vital
You must always remember that an important part of networking would usually occur before the event.
Any business convention would provide an excellent opportunity for you to make valuable connections; but with several people in attendance, you must try to focus your attention on certain companies or individuals.
For this to happen, you must do a little research before the convention so that you can set some goals or identify a list of companies/individuals you would like to meet during the convention. By creating this list, you could brainstorm some relevant questions or talking points thereby making a meaningful conversation during the meeting.
Don’t Forget to Take Rounds
With several sponsors as well as exhibitors registered for the arts festival, you are likely to miss out on some valuable networking opportunities if you are not taking the time to make the rounds.
It may be true that some exhibitors would regard you as a potential sale. However, you must remember that they could also lead to some mutually beneficial relationships.
You might find some potential new customers as you visit other booths.
In addition, you could also gain some insights on your competitors.
Have Your Business Cards
When someone asks for your business cards, you don’t want to come up with excuses. Make sure you are taking a good number of business cards with you when you are attending the arts festival.
Also, make sure it’s a natural progression of your conversation and that the recipient is really interested in getting your information.
I would suggest you not to be too forward when offering your business card to people.
Be Open to Talk
At these crowded events, you don’t have to initiate small talks. And, when other people are striking up a conversation, you must be open to talk whether you are waiting in line for a panel or just sitting in a room.
You shouldn’t be afraid to chat with them. Just see where it goes!
The person who talks with you can become your friend or can even be a great professional connection. You may even give the person one of your business cards.
Don’t be Afraid to Approach Panelists
Sometimes, the panelists would hang around once the presentations are over.
If they do so, they will chat with people in audience having additional questions.
You must take the advantage of this extra time to introduce yourself.
When you are able to remember the aforementioned points and be able to follow them, the networking will become easier than ever before.
Proper planning and execution are the key steps to success in networking.