Event professionals are often required to wear many hats – sometimes as the delivery liaison, other times as the transportation expert, or the marketing maven. Every day requires them to utilize a new skill. While event professionals are exceptional at multi-tasking and possess a wide breadth of knowledge, a strong network with diversified skills and talents can come in handy.
Every event, conference, and errand can be a networking opportunity, but sometimes there is so much to accomplish that actual networking falls to the back burner. Investing a small amount of time into building and leveraging your network can benefit you and your event team.
We’ve outlined a few networking hacks that will save you time and add value to your event network.
Identify strengths and weaknesses
Connections are meant to be mutually beneficial. Identify your strengths, and you’ll be able to place yourself in circles that benefit from your expertise. Similarly, acknowledge skills you lack and align yourself with those who can share event information and even help inspire you. You can then call on this network for your next event!
Ask for referrals
Event marketing 101 teaches that referrals are often the strongest testimonials. Your network is bound to have better guidance on food vendors, event security, or lighting companies than an online review. In the age of Google, we tend to forget how quick and easy a phone call really is!
Consider quality, not quantity
At any event or meeting, it’s easy to feel pressure to hand out and collect as many business cards as possible – we suggest doing the exact opposite. If the event has a guest list, scan it beforehand. If there are specific vendors you’d like to meet, identify them. That way, upon arrival you know exactly who you want to to speak to and can focus your attention. It’s more valuable to make a connection with a few people than to get lost in a stack of business cards.
Stay in the loop
Event professionals must stay up-to-date on the latest industry developments. Become a member of industry associations, such as INTIX, and attend conferences, such as BizBash’s yearly Expos. They’ll keep you informed on upcoming trade-shows, industry news, and the latest in event technology. Also, consider joining in specific Linkedin groups for discussions and information about the industry.