6 Ways to Research for a Networking Event

ID-10038626One of the best things you can do to prepare yourself for a networking event is to do some research. When you know who will be attending the event, you’ll know who to connect with and you’ll be able to connect with them much easier. The following tips will help you with your researching.

Search for the Networking Event

Most networking events are promoted online on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Meetup.com. Use Google to find every mention of the event and then read what people are saying about it. Those people are the ones that are probably going, and you can then take that information to start learning about them.

Talk About It

Invite people in your community to the event. The more people you talk to, the more people will start to talk to others. Before you know it, you’ll hear about who is going. Be sure to write down people’s names, so you can look them up when you get back to your computer.

Use LinkedIn

When you have a list of people attending the event, start your research on LinkedIn. The profiles will give you a lot of information and will lead you to other websites (like “HuddleDo.com“) for more hints to what you can bring up to people when you meet them.

Visit Websites

Almost every entrepreneur and business owner has a website. When you find an attendee’s website, go to it, and soak up the information. Start thinking of questions and write them down. While you don’t want to bring your cheat sheet to the event, it can help you beforehand to remind yourself the people you want to meet and what you want to ask them.

Blog About the Event

Instead of running after people, why not have them come to you? Write about the networking event on your blog. It will show up on search engines and when people find it, they will be appreciative of the information. You may even get some comments on your blog, which is another way to find out who is going to the event.

Reach Out Online First

There’s no harm in connecting before the event. Sending a connection request through LinkedIn, following attendees on Twitter, and commenting on their blog will make meeting people easier in person. With this initial connection, you can say, “We’ve connected on LinkedIn. It’s great to meet you in person. I noticed you are working in the travel industry. How is that going for you?”

Start Your Research Now

Start with finding people who are going to attend the event. Look them up on LinkedIn, read their profile, and visit their websites. Connect with people on LinkedIn and Twitter and then write some notes about them, so you’ll be ready to meet them at the event.
Image courtesy of renjith krishnan from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Books with Networking Tips for Business Opportunities

Networking TipsYou can spend the entire day reading about networking online, but when you’re away from your computer, you can’t do your research. Instead, you need something else to give you the networking tips that will help you succeed. That something else is books about networking. The following are some of the best books you can purchase online, buy at a bookstore, or download.

Networking for Business

This book is the perfect source for motivation and information. It gives you the steps on how to network in a way that will grow your business. Get ready to be inspired with these networking tips.

Networking Like a Pro: Turning Contacts Into Connections

The networking plan in this book will help you master the art of turning contacts into connections that could lead to great opportunities. Learn about the four major streams of your networking river, the best media tools to use, and more.

Make Your Contacts Count: Networking Know-How for Business and Career Success

This book gives you the steps on how to build networking relationships that will help you with your business. An easy, but effective system called “Hello to Goodbye” is included in the book. It’s available for the Kindle and in paperback.

Business Networking: How to Build an Awesome Professional Network: Meet and build relationships with your idols

A professional network is important to the success of your business, as this author points out in his book. You will learn how to make new contacts with professionals and build relationships with them that could lead you to opportunities you never knew were possible for you.

Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed and the Underconnected

Does this title describe you? Don’t keep hating networking. You may just be missing the element that could take your business to the top. Read all about how you can turn your hate into love in this book.

Networking for Introverts: How to Make Connections that Count Without Being Sleazy

This book of networking tips helps introverts come out of their shells and make connections that lead to better opportunities in life. It helps introverts change the way they feel about networking, which makes it easier for them to take a step forward.

Small Talk – The Conversationalist’s Handbook

You must master the art of small talk when attending a networking event. It’s how you get to know people. In this book, Adrian J. Williams gives you the tips you need to start a conversation with just about anyone.

Learn, Act, and Succeed

Reading about networking prepares you for changing the way you act at networking events. As you use the tips provided in these books, you’ll start to feel differently about networking, and that will propel you into a world that will grow your business and lead you to better opportunities.

If you would like to recommend networking books to our readers, please feel free to leave a comment with the title. Everyone will appreciate your suggestions.

Image courtesy of thanunkorn from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

HuddleDo Sponsors Networking Event in Santa Monica

It’s time to test out all those networking tips you’ve been reading on our blog!

On May 15th, we are sponsoring a networking event in Santa Monica. This is a LAHH BBQ-style party with some great food and drinks. Nothing too fancy, but it’s definitely going to be a great time to enjoy some yummy BBQ, drinks and take advantage of a networking opportunity.

Have Food on Us at the Event and Coffee on Us Afterwards!

Since HuddleDo is sponsoring the catering of the event, we will be there! Stop by our table and sign up for a FREE Starbucks gift card. While you could use the gift card on yourself, you could use it to invite one of the best contacts you meet during the event to a coffee to discuss your business plans. It’s up to you!

HuddleDo wants you to succeed at networking! This is why we want to sponsor these events. We want to make them the best they can be for you. Seriously consider attending this event because there will be up to 200 people there. You’ll be amazed at how good the food, drinks, and atmosphere is making it the perfect mix to relax, interact, and make great things happen with your business.

BBQ and Beers at PwrdBy


600_321670182

Date: Thursday, May 15, 2014

Time: 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Location: 1625 17th Street Santa Monica, CA

Cost: $9 for the first 100 attendees and $12 general admission

Cisco brewers is supplying some great beer for the event, and the BBQ will be perfect with it.

600_360994492

Don’t miss this event!

5 Reasons Networking Isn’t Working for You

ID-100196984You’ll hear and read repeatedly that networking is one of the best ways to grow your business. However, when you try it, the time you spend on it doesn’t lead anywhere. This probably makes you wonder if everyone is lying or you’re doing something terribly wrong. The good news is that you are right in that you’re probably doing something wrong. Networking IS a great way to grow your business, IF you do it right. Check out some reasons networking may not be working for you, so you can make a change that will likely make a difference.

You Don’t Talk to Enough People

Networking events are about meeting as many people as possible. You shouldn’t stay with one person too long because that will take away the time you have to meet other people that could lead to great opportunities. Make a connection, hand a business card to the person, and then move on to the next person.

You’re Talking Too Much About Yourself

There’s a unique exchange of information that happens at networking events. People often ask the person they approach about his or her business and then the person reciprocates. This is how people find out if they can help each other. When you focus on yourself too much, you won’t be able to help people because you won’t know anything about them. Don’t think you need to help? That’s where you’re going wrong too. The more you help, the more people want to help you.

You Don’t Do Your Research Before an Event

Many people who don’t find the value in networking will say that they never meet anyone who is worth pursuing after an event. This is probably true because they didn’t do adequate research about the event. If a networking event is for a tech audience, you won’t find much value in it if your industry is in clothing. You must find networking events that cater to an audience that you’re part of. That way people who attend will be those that you want to get to know better.

You Don’t Reach Out After the Event

Just going to a networking event isn’t enough to grow your business. You need to make contact with people afterwards. This is your chance to get to know your contacts much better, and figure out how you can work together.

You Don’t Go to Enough of Them

Going to one networking event won’t boost your business to the level you want it to be at. Those successful at using networking to grow their business will attend a few events a month. The more they go to, the more opportunities are available to them. Before you say that networking isn’t working for you, make sure you are going to enough of them to make that judgment.

It’s time to make some changes in how you approach networking. Get out there, meet as many people as possible, help them, research the events you go to, reach out to people afterwards, and keep going to events until you start to see results. It can seem like a lot of work, but believe us, it’s worth it!

Image courtesy of twobee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Stand Out at a Networking Event

ID-10021886You can’t hide behind your computer screen anymore. Networking is happening all around you in your community, and you are missing great opportunities for your business. Step out into the networking world offline with these tips on how you can stand out.

Be Real

You don’t need to act like someone you aren’t to get attention at networking events. You are starting or running a business, and you’re going to succeed, so just show people what you’re doing and why you’re proud. As long as you can stay positive and down to earth, people will be drawn to you.

Focus on Others

People don’t go to networking events to only hear about what other people are doing. They want to talk about what they are doing too. You can gain many contacts if you allow people to tell you what they are doing and then gently plug your business. If you constantly talk about yourself, people will walk away from you because you aren’t giving them a chance to connect with you based on what they are doing.

Assist People

See yourself as a mentor. Ask people questions about their business such as what their goals are and the challenges they are facing. Listen actively to what they’re saying and engage in a discussion that naturally leads to advice giving. They will be so appreciative of your insight that they will want to know all about what you’re doing.

Keep It Short

No one enjoys conversing with a long-winded person, especially during a networking event when you’re supposed to mingle. When you speak about your business, keep it short, focused, and hand out a business card when you’re finished.

Be Polite

Remember your manners when you’re meeting people. First impressions do mean a lot. Don’t take out your phone to text and call people as you’re interacting with others or when there is a speaker. When people are speaking, don’t cut them off. Allow people to speak and interject with your thought as it naturally fits into the conversation.

Say Goodbye When Leaving

Instead of just disappearing, walk around the room to say goodbye to anyone who isn’t engaged in a conversation with someone else. Shaking hands with someone one last time before you depart for the evening will mean you were one of the last people to connect with that person. He or she will have a much easier time remembering you when you reach out after the event.

Start Getting Noticed at Your Next Networking Event

With these tips, you are ready to stand out at your networking event. Just try to keep most of these in mind, and you will likely see a difference in the responses you receive from people and the number of contacts you’ll collect. The next step in all of this is contacting all of those great people you’ve met to make connections that could lead to better opportunities.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan from FreeDigitalPhotos.com

 

The Right Attitude for Networking

attitude for networkingMost people don’t realize that you have to have the right attitude for networking. Attitude gives off energy and that energy is what helps you successfully work a networking event. So what’s the right attitude to have, and how do you change the one you already have grown accustomed to? Read on to find out.

Positivity Prevails

If you think a networking event is going to be the scariest thing you’ve ever done, you’ll likely end up in the corner just waiting for it to be over. Don’t do that because you won’t use the networking event to your advantage. You can keep that anxiety at bay by thinking positively about the event. Tell yourself how great it will be that you’ll get to meet people who want to help you, and how nice it will be to help others. When you have different thought patterns for networking events, you’ll end up acting differently at them.

It’s All About Others

Networking events help you grow your business, but it’s not all about you. It’s about other people as well because they are there to do just the same as you. When you enter the networking event with an attitude of wanting to help, you’ll end up meeting more people. Those people in turn will likely try to help you in gratitude for all you’ve done for them.

Business is Fun

Are you stressed? Events for networking are great ways to release that stress and still work your business. Yes, for some people, these events can be even more stressful, but when you start to see it as something fun to do, things might change for you. The next thing you know, you’ll be looking forward to networking events because it’s a chance for you to break away from the monotony of day-to-day business tasks.

Change Your Attitude Today for Successful Networking Tomorrow

It’s all in how you see networking events. If you’ve painted a picture in your mind that doesn’t make you happy, erase it and start over. Visualize taking that image away and then start to build a new one – a more positive one that is altruistic and fun. Take away the anxiety of these events and instead, replace it with excitement. This is your chance to learn a lot about how to grow your business and meet people who could end up leading you in directions you’ve never even thought of. In addition, you’ll be able to really show your community how much you know, and help people reach the success you’ve had up to this point.

Go ahead and try it. When you see and feel the difference, come back and leave a comment here. We would love to hear about how changing your attitude changed the way you network.

5 Awesome Conversation Starters for Networking Events

Conversation Starters for Networking EventsYou walk into a networking event and it’s just you and a whole bunch of people you’ve never seen before. If you’re not the type to just walk up to anyone, shake a hand, and start talking, this is probably scary to you. It’s probably one of the reasons why you don’t love attending networking events.

Don’t worry; we can help you with this daunting situation. All you need are some conversation starters for networking events to make that first hello a breeze.

#1: “It’s time for me to get a drink. Yours looks good, what are you drinking?”

This works perfect for networking events with a bar. As the person tells you what he is drinking, you can talk about whether or not you have drank that before. When there’s a lull in conversation, you can mention you’re going to go get one for yourself. Many times, if the person has finished his drink, he will say the same and you two can continue the conversation.

#2: “Did you go to ____ College? So did I!”

You will need to do a little research before the networking event, but you should be doing that anyway. You can easily find where people went to school or worked by looking them up on LinkedIn. Once you have that information, you can start a conversation with commonality.

#3: “I was at the event you spoke at last month. I just wanted to thank you for all the insight you gave me.”

This can’t work for everyone, but if you’ve been attending community functions having to do with your business, you’ll eventually be able to use this one. People love to hear from their audiences, so let someone know you were impressed with his speech. Just be ready to answer questions about what you liked the most about the speech and how you’ll be using it to help grow or run your business.

#4: Tell me about your work!

People enjoy talking about themselves, so this is a great conversation starter. As the person is talking about their work, listen carefully, and ask questions. Asking questions tells the person you are interested in knowing as much as possible. The conversation will eventually lead to you talking about your work, which is when the connection will be made.

#5: “Did you see all of the great stuff they are giving away at the sponsor table?”

When someone says “giving away” people automatically pay attention because it means something is free. When you tell people about something great they can get free, they will like you. When people like you, they want to talk to you. Instead of just dropping this line and walking away, ask if he would like you to show him where the table is, and as you’re walking, talk about the work he is doing.

Get Conversations Started Easily Now

You can do this. You can strike up conversation with anyone at a networking event. Just wait until someone isn’t talking to someone else, and then go for it. Using one of these lines will take the pressure off, so you won’t have to come up with them yourself.

Image courtesy of stockimages from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Networking Tools for Master Networkers

Networking ToolsNetworking tools make it easy to keep contacts organized and reach out to them when you need them. They also help you gain more attention and increase the effectiveness of networking events when growing your business. While there are many tools you can use, these are the most helpful.

Plaxo

Plaxo is a powerful application that can unify and synchronize contacts on all your devices. It allows you to categorize contacts, so you can quickly scroll over to the ones you need. If duplicate contacts are a problem in your address book, that’s no problem with Plaxo because it will delete any duplicates. Find out how much more this application can do on the Plaxo website.

Card Scanner

Business cards get lost and can be difficult to organize. Copying all the information on them into your computer’s address book, smartphone, and tablet can take a lot of time. The solution to these problems with business cards is to invest in a card scanner. DYMO manufactures CardScan Personal, which is a compact business card scanner. Simply place the business card in the box, connect it to your device with a USB cord, and it will automatically scan and send the information to your device.

Vistaprint

Create professional looking business cards, brochures, or postcards for your contacts. They will use them to connect with you after the networking event. You can also print cards to send to contacts after a networking event. The possibilities are endless with all the printing capabilities on Vistaprint.

QR Scanner

When creating a business card or other promotional material, you may want to show how tech savvy you are by having a QR code created. When this code is scanned by someone’s smartphone, it will instantly take the person to your website or social media page. What’s the benefit of this over just using a URL? People don’t have to take the time to copy the web address from the paper to their smartphones. They can just scan and then bookmark your site. Go to Scan for more information.

Gifts

As a master networker, you know the worst thing you can do is overly promote your business. Instead, you should get to know people, their business, and then share a little about yours if the opportunity arises. As you mingle with people, give them something little with your brand name on it. The website AnyPromo.com has many options for little gifts you can give out. People will be excited they have something they can use, and the next time they use it, they will remember you and your business. Consider handing out pens, highlighters, keychains, magnets, laser pointers, or small bottles of sanitizer. All these items can have your business name, URL, and phone number. Just make sure you choose something small enough to fit plenty into your pocket, so it’s easily accessible during the networking event.

Many other tools are available for networking. Do you have tools you use? Simply leave a comment below with the ones you find helpful.

Image courtesy of emptyglass from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

HuddleDo Sponsoring Happy Hour Mentor Party in Santa Monica

Santa Monica Networking EventWhat: Santa Monica Networking Event: Pay It Forward Labs & LA Tech Happy Hour Mentor Party

When: Monday, April 28, 2014

Time: 6:00pm – 10:00pm

Join HuddleDo and LA’s top technology movers and shakers at this FREE networking event.

Learn, network, and have fun at one of the biggest networking events of the year.

What You’ll Do…

This is event is catered to you. We want you to learn everything you can about growing your business. This is why we are so excited about sponsoring this event. The mentors are successful, well-known business owners, and they want to help you to achieve business success too.

Take this opportunity to get you and your business out there to other local business owners looking to connect with you by bringing product and service giveaways. This is your chance to let people know what you do!

What HuddleDo Is Giving Away

As the sponsor of this event, we have many exciting offers for you. We’re giving away a brand new Google HP Chromebook! All you have to do is tweet #LATHH, #Piflabs, and #HuddleDo to enter. The more times you tweet, the better your chances of winning. You can enter today and every day up to the day of the event.

Have a Cup of Starbucks on Us!

We’re also giving away Free Starbucks gift cards because we know the importance of good coffee when running a business. Hurry over to our table on the 2nd floor to sign up because we only have 50 available.

While you’re meeting the HuddleDo team, you’ll learn how to grow your referral network and business. We have mentors available to answer all your questions and give you information on how HuddleDo can help you get some real business from networking.

Schedule this event in your calendar now.

When: Monday, April 28th

Time: 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Where: The Victorian – 2640 Main Street Santa Monica, CA

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn how you can achieve business success from the best of the best in Santa Monica! See you there.

Network For Contacts You Need Today

Network ContactsA networking event is a time for you to find new people to help you grow your business. This doesn’t mean you should only try to get new clients or customers though. It’s true they will help you bring in more revenue, but there are other types of network contacts that can help you bring in profits in other ways. Knowing the types of contacts you should seek at an event will help maximize the benefits of one.

Colleagues

You can’t do it all alone. Well, you could, but you won’t want to if your business gets hectic. Having some colleagues to help you during busy times, or just to lend an ear when you need to talk things out can help you greatly. You never know when someone will be able to talk you through a business jam.

Just be careful with who you start talking with as a colleague. Stay away from competitors because they could use the information you share against you.

Advisors

Knowing someone with more experience than you have can be a tremendous help. Knowing about mistakes others have made and learning how to avoid them can save you from near disaster. Advisors can troubleshoot problems and provide insight. If you haven’t had an advisor or mentor yet, give it a try. You’ll be amazed how helpful one can be to you.

Referrers

Just because one person can’t use you or your business’ services or products, it doesn’t mean someone else couldn’t use them. Referrals are valuable, and the more people you meet, the higher the chance you’ll get referrals from them.

Start Collecting Different Types of Network Contacts

Now you know the purpose of networking is not only to bring in new clients or customers. It’s about bringing many types of contacts who can help grow your business. At your next networking event, broaden your scope of whom you talk to and connect with afterwards. You’ll soon see that this new strategy can be much more effective for your business.

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee from FreeDigitalPhotos.net