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How to Succeed at a Networking Event

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How to succeed at a networking event

A big benefit of doing an internship is that you get to meet a lot of people. Especially when you do an internship far away from home, you can find very interesting and like-minded people – at your job, at your hobbies or at networking events. These events are a great way to connect and build relationships that might be useful for you in the future. But how do you get the most out of these events? With the following basic rules, your next event will become a huge success!

Plan ahead

The networking starts before the event even happens: You should familiarize yourself with the type of event and try to find out who is attending. Being able to go into the event with a clear plan makes it way easier to talk to the right people about the right things, so they are also more inclined to spend time with you and get to know you.

Even if you cannot find out who exactly is going: The topic of the networking and the organizer often tells you enough to be prepared. Do you want to meet specific people? Do you want to meet as many people as possible? Do you want to meet people from a certain company?

business networkUse your time wisely

Finding an old friend at a networking event might be fun and you will have a lot to talk about, but sometimes its important to remember that catching up with friends is not the reason you came to the event. After you’ve established your goals for the event, you should use your limited time to try to meet who you wanted to meet. It works both ways though: if you feel that a conversation does not really benefit you or is too boring, it might be best to move on and find other opportunities.

Don’t be afraid

Especially during your first event, it takes a lot of courage to approach new people. That is perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of. However, you always have to keep in mind that everybody is at the event for the same reason: to connect with other people. Therefore, there is nothing to be afraid of. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You are not able to establish a connection with the person you tried to talk to.

Give out your business card

You have business cards a reason: give them out! Even when they sometimes do not lead to a direct connection, it still is something to help make yourself known among other people. Some people say you need to have 7 interactions with people and business cards are a great and easy way for one of them.

LinkedIn, WeChat & Co.handshake business meeting

Social Media makes networking easier than ever before. LinkedIn is a worldwide platform made for easy networking and professional exchange, so it is always an option to connect to new people you meet at events. 

Depending on where you are, there might be other platforms where you can make new connections. For example, in China, you should look to add new connections on WeChat quickly, since most of the communication – personal and professional – happens there.

Deal with rejection

Sometimes, you will meet people that are not interested in you – at all. This is irritating at first but should not demotivate you to continue trying. Every rejection is one step closer to a successful attempt. If you really struggle with rejection, try to use your experience to gain insight into how to make you next attempts better.

You always have to keep in mind that most rejections are not personal at all, and that everybody was rejected in his or her past – many times!

 

To sum it up: Although it is difficult for everybody in the beginning, and you will struggle sometimes to make an event successful, you should never give up on networking events. With the right mindset and enough preparation, it is a great – if not the best – way to meet new people and connect to companies.

 

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