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3 Simple Steps to Becoming a Better Networker

I’ve always been a natural extrovert in school and in business. I find it easy to socialise with others and connect with them personally and professionally. When I first embarked on my entrepreneurial journey and left the practice of law, I used to attend as many local networking events as possible. I deemed it important to get out there and connect with other business professionals to build both my brand and network for prospective clients, speaking engagements, and other business opportunities.

I realise that networking is not easy or simple for everyone. There are some who fear being in large crowds of people they do not know at networking events and being forced to strike up a conversation with someone they have little synergy with. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you can build solid networking skills through these 3 simple steps:

Attend as Many Networking Events as Possible

I am sure you have heard many say, “You need to put yourself out there if you want to meet the right person.” Networking is a lot like dating. In order to find a date, you need to put yourself out there in the limelight, and practice makes perfect.

First, find out where the local networking events are in your community. A great place to start is your local chamber of commerce and other leadership organisations that are industry-specific. Many groups will offer the first event free to all guests. Some events may be as high £180 for a lunch. Either way, if you meet your next business contact or potential boss, suddenly that fee becomes pennies and the reward outweighs the risk. But don’t forget to dress professional to the networking event. Treat it like a series of mini interviews.

Bring Business Cards & Don’t Forget to Take Business Cards from Others

Every person you meet is an opportunity. A key step to networking is having your own professional image and brand. Don’t make the mistake of showing up to a networking event without a stack of professional business cards.

Make sure the business card has your name, professional title (i.e. Managing Director) or industry (i.e. Finance), phone number, email (keep it professional), and Linkedin URL. Before you put your Linkedin URL on your new personal business card, ensure that you have a customised URL.

When you go to networking events, take a business card from each person you meet and give them your business card. Easy and done, right? Not so fast.

Following-up is the most important part of networking. Always follow-up with each person you meet. Get on their contact list. Tell them you hope to see them at the next event (which may open the door to them inviting you to an event you didn’t know about!). Invite them to have lunch or coffee the next week. Being consistent and committed is key.

Connect on Linkedin & Beyond

If you are going to attend networking events and build connections on Linkedin with attendees from the events (which of course I highly recommend), make sure your Linkedin profile is fully optimised with a powerful headline, compelling summary, and details of your experience. It’s important that the image you put out at the networking events matches your digital footprint — i.e. your personal brand aligns. You never know where this connection may lead.

Develop a rapport with other professionals and connect on a greater level through Linkedin. Share and comment on each other’s content. Engage with one another beyond just being a connection. Join groups they are members of and possibly connect with their connections.

Insights and reports for technology driven visionary leaders

At Management Events, our passion is to create valuable encounters and impactful experiences in a professional setting. At our events, we connect the top decision makers and solution providers, and inspire with great speakers.

Our exclusive, invitation-only event concept offers our clients the opportunity to have pre-booked meetings with the most potential customers and network with the forerunners in their field. The event participants are technology-driven leaders of the largest companies in Europe and Southeast Asia.

Annually, we produce more than 150 business events bringing together 20,000 leaders and 2,000 solution providers in 15 countries generating business opportunities through 50,000 face-to-face meetings. Currently, we operate in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Malaysia, UAE, Turkey and Singapore.

For more information about Management Events, please visit: https://managementevents.com/

Meet the BYPY 2018 Winners

Laura Thursfield took the overall title of Birmingham Young Professional of the Year (BYPY) on Thursday 24th May as guests from the city’s business and professional services sector attended BPS Birmingham Future’s flagship awards ceremony at the ICC.

Each year BYPY celebrates the city’s finest talent across six award categories, with one category winner taking the highly-coveted title of Overall BYPY Winner. For the second time, 2018’s winner also received an Executive MBS from Aston University worth £20,000.

In addition to category winners, BYPY also recognised an exemplary figure and role model within the professional community with its Inspiring Leader award. Lorna Gavin, Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Responsibility at Gowling WLG, received this award.

The Aspiring Talent category, which recognises exceptional individuals aged between 16 and 24, was named as Daniel Goddard, Trainee Solicitor at Trowers & Hamlins LLP.

BYPY 2018 Winners

Overall Winner and Winner in the Finance category
Laura Thursfield, Mazars

HR, Recruitment & Training
Gishan Abeyratne, BCL Legal

Legal
Chrissie Wolfe, Irwin Mitchell

Marketing & Comms
Tru Powell, Alternative Events

Property & Construction
Kuli Bajwa, RPS Group

Technology
Sarah Mullett, Legal & General

Aspiring Talent
Daniel Goddard, Trowers and Hamlins LLP

Inspiring Leader
Lorna Gavin, Gowling WLG

For more information about BYPY, please visit: http://bpsbirmingham.co.uk/bypy/