How to Prepare for a Networking Event

How to Prepare for a Networking Event, Seattle Blogger, PNW Blogger, Seattle, career, job hunting

I recently attended my very first blogging conference and I had an amazing time meeting many wonderful people in the community! I must admit that I was a bit nervous since it was my first big event and but I am so glad I went. I learned so much information and it was great connecting with others. I decided to dedicate this post to discuss what I learned about networking and I am also featuring this outfit that I wore to the conference!

How to Prepare for a Networking Event, Seattle Blogger, PNW Blogger, Seattle, career, job hunting

1. Research the event ahead of time.
It’s so important to know where you’re going, who the key guests are, and what the event is focused on. Yes, it may sound obvious but if you’re not familiar with the location then make sure you look up how to get there beforehand and give yourself extra time in case you get lost or need to find parking. Before I attended the conference, I looked at the agenda so I would know who the featured guests were and had a general idea of their background. I also looked at photos from last year’s conference to get an idea of how I should dress and what kind of vibe the event had. The more I research beforehand, the more I had a better idea of what to expect and prepare for.

How to Prepare for a Networking Event, Seattle Blogger, PNW Blogger, Seattle, career, job hunting

2. Make sure you carry your business cards with you.
I decided to order business cards because I knew this was going to be a big event with over 100 people. I met many people and gave my business card out so they would have all of my contact information to make it easy for them to connect with me in the future. I was actually surprised by the number of people who didn’t bring business cards. I’m the type of person who remembers faces but it’s hard for me to remember names and retain a load of information at once. Having business cards shows that you’re professional and more importantly, it makes you memorable and easier to contact. I made sure to include my picture on my business cards so others can link my face to my name.

How to Prepare for a Networking Event, Seattle Blogger, PNW Blogger, Seattle, career, job hunting

3. Come prepared with questions and topics to talk about.
Whether you’re attending a small round table meeting or a large event, it’s important to participate and engage with others. After all, that is the whole point of networking! If you’re more of an introvert at these types of events like I am, then make sure you come up with things to discuss beforehand so there aren’t any awkward moments of silence when you have the opportunity to speak. If you can’t come up with any questions, then there are other ways to engage in the conversation. You can summarize what the other person said to show that you’re listening, or it can also be a way to ask for clarification. Another way to engage yourself is to follow up on what someone said by stating your opinion or how you can relate to what they’re saying. There are many ways you can be more engaged. Just be yourself and let the conversation flow. 🙂

How to Prepare for a Networking Event, Seattle Blogger, PNW Blogger, Seattle, career, job hunting

4. Don’t be afraid to approach someone and ask them about their experiences.
I admit that I’m usually not the type of person who will approach someone first because I get too nervous. However, this is something that I am trying to work on. I have to remind myself that there is nothing harmful about going up to someone and talking to them, especially if you’re at a networking event. I met some people that told me that they are also afraid to approach others, so please know that you’re definitely not alone! I was able to strike up some great conversations and we exchanged stories about our blogging journey. I actually learned new things from fellow bloggers that I hadn’t already known. You just never know who you will meet and what new things you will learn!

How to Prepare for a Networking Event, Seattle Blogger, PNW Blogger, Seattle, career, job hunting

5. Ask for other people’s business cards and reach out to them after the event.
As I had already mentioned, it is so important to carry your business cards with you so that you can exchange them with others. If you told someone that you’re going to contact them, then make sure you follow up with them and stay true to your word. It is also important that you contact them in a timely manner. Waiting a couple weeks probably isn’t the best idea because you want people to remember you. The day after the conference, I contacted people that I met and let them know how great it was to meet them. Not only is it great for people to remember you, but it’s nice to let them know that you remember them. People really appreciate these kind gestures and it’s a great way to make yourself stand out.

I am so happy that I attended this networking event because I learned so much valuable information and it really helped me come out of my shell. Please let me know if there are any networking tips that you would like to add!

GET THIS LOOK:
Dress: ASOS (comes in tall and petite)
Tights: DKNY
Booties: old (similar here and here)

38 Comments

  1. March 27, 2017 / 6:54 AM

    I love these tips! It can be intimidating to network, but I’ve had so many beneficial relationtships come out of it.

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 12:46 AM

      Yes, it’s such a great way to connect with others!

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 12:48 AM

      I went to the Style Summit conference. 🙂

  2. Tina
    March 27, 2017 / 9:49 PM

    These are great networking tips! Having business cards is so important and I definitely need to get some designed for a conference I’m going to next month!

    Tina
    http://www.justatinabit.com

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 12:51 AM

      I ordered mine from moo.com! They make beautiful business cards!

  3. March 27, 2017 / 11:52 PM

    Loved reading this post! Such useful tips, I’m always so nervous for things like these but they’re always so much fun!

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 12:52 AM

      I agree, they are so much fun!

  4. March 28, 2017 / 12:43 AM

    These are great tips! 🙂 I always carry my business cards in my wallet – cause otherwise I’d just forget them for sure! 🙂 ps. love the dress you’re wearing!

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 12:53 AM

      Thank you very much, Monique!!

  5. March 28, 2017 / 9:38 PM

    I get nervous about these events too, but I never regret stepping out of my comfort zone and talking to people! Thanks for these reminders 🙂

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 12:54 AM

      I agree that it’s important to get out of our comfort zone sometimes. Thanks for visiting, Brittany!

  6. March 29, 2017 / 6:36 AM

    Love these tips! I need to go to more events like these, especially as I am in the midst of job hunting right now!

    Enclothed Cognition

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 12:55 AM

      I hope these tips are helpful! Good luck with job hunting!

  7. March 29, 2017 / 6:56 AM

    Your photos are gorgeous! That dress is so pretty on you! I wish I could’ve attended the Style Summit it sounds like it was so much fun! I attended my first Blogger event this past Christmas and I was terrified before I got there but it was so much fun. I took all my business cards though and nobody was handing any out lol! Everyone was just finding each other on Social Media on their phones haha!

    Ellie | http://www.scotchandstilettos.com

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 12:56 AM

      Some people only want to exchange social media names and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that! However, it’s hard for me to keep track of who I added from the conference. I think having a tangible business card makes you stand out. 🙂

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 12:57 AM

      You’re so sweet, Kate! Thank you!

  8. March 29, 2017 / 10:44 AM

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing. I’m always a little nervous about attending events.

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 12:58 AM

      It’s natural to be nervous but just remember that there are many other people that are nervous too!

  9. March 29, 2017 / 12:44 PM

    I wish I could have gone! I miss networking a lot, I am not able to do it in person very much anymore with my job.

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 12:59 AM

      Sorry to have missed you! Hopefully you’ll be able to make it to future events!

  10. March 29, 2017 / 4:13 PM

    Great tips! Networking can be nerve wracking when you’re first starting out. I would also suggest to bring a friend! A fellow blogger who’s also looking to connect. Then you’ll always have a friendly face to chat with and keep the conversation going 🙂

    Lyndi
    http://www.stylecalling.com

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 12:59 AM

      Ah, yes! Bringing a friend is always helpful!

  11. March 29, 2017 / 6:15 PM

    This is so perfectly timed! I’m heading to an event on Friday! Thanks for sharing your experience and tips!

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 1:03 AM

      You’re welcome, Kathy! I hope these tips were helpful!

  12. March 29, 2017 / 7:00 PM

    You totally nailed it with this post. Nicely done. It was so nice to meet you in person!

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 1:04 AM

      It was so great meeting you too, Kristie! Looking forward to seeing you again at future events! 🙂

  13. March 29, 2017 / 9:12 PM

    Wow great post I am excited to go to my first networking event this Friday!
    byjonniemarch.com

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 1:04 AM

      I hope you enjoyed these tips and had a great time at your event!

  14. March 30, 2017 / 11:14 AM

    Such great advice! Following up with those you met afterwards is so important but often forgotten. I always love connecting with others on Instagram after events! 🙂

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 1:06 AM

      I love connecting through Instagram too!

  15. March 31, 2017 / 4:59 PM

    Thanks for sharing:) This is great information!

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 1:06 AM

      Thanks so much, Casey!

  16. April 1, 2017 / 2:04 PM

    These are great tips!! I need to order some business cards and I love the idea of including a photo on your card – so smart!!

    What conference did you attend??

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 1:07 AM

      I ordered my cards from moo.com. They make beautiful cards that you can completely customize! I was at the Style Summit conference. 🙂

    • Polly
      April 4, 2017 / 1:08 AM

      Hopefully we’ll get to meet at future events! 🙂

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