One 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.
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.
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.
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