What NOT To Do At A Networking Event

Networking is one of the most powerful tools in your entrepreneurial tool belt. When done well, networking can (sometimes single-handedly) lead to exponential growth of your business. In order to support our existing and prospective members, Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to host monthly networking socials at the Lake of the Ozarks.

A week prior to the event each month, we write a blog geared towards helping participants get the most out of these events by offering helpful tips and tricks for the upcoming social. This month, we're switching things up a bit - instead of focusing on what to do to get the most out of your networking night, we're going to look specifically at some of the things you should not do at a networking event.

What NOT To Do At A Networking Event

(Don't) Go With Friends.

The biggest networking mistake people make is spending the whole event talking with friends and colleagues they already know, rather than taking the opportunity to meet new people and build new connections. If you go with friends, you'll be more likely to make this mistake. Going by yourself may be a much smarter move.

(Don't) Try To Meet Everybody.

While meeting new people and fostering new connections is important, it's also important to avoid overwhelming yourself by trying to meet every person there. Instead, take the time to build meaningful connections with the people you meet. The old saying "quality over quantity" applies to networking, too.

Photo from last month's social
at Camden on the Lake
(Don't) Scout Your Next Contact Prematurely.
There is nothing wrong with making a mental game plan of who you'd like to talk to at your networking event, but it is rude to take your focus away from the person you're talking to. Wait until your current conversation has finished before you scan the room to identify your next contact.

(Don't) Sell Your Product.

Of course your ultimate goal is to grow your business and sell more of your products/services, but your initial meeting with someone is not the time to do that. For now, focus on building connections and establishing rapport. If you push sales messages on people you've just met, they may be likely to tune you out.

(Don't) Focus On Yourself. 

A networking event is your opportunity to get to know the other professionals in your community. Asking your new connections open-ended questions about themselves and their businesses is a great way to get started. While you should of course answer any questions they ask you in return, try to avoid focusing too much on talking about yourself.

(Don't) Drink Too Much.

The cash bar is a staple at our (and many other) networking events. Alcohol helps many people unwind in the evening after a long day at work and may help ease the nervousness many people feel at the prospect of meeting new people. However, it's critical that you avoid drinking too much - becoming intoxicated (or even slightly "buzzed") at a networking event will likely cause new contacts to form a negative impression of you. A good rule of thumb is to only drink half (or less) of what you would normally have under different circumstances.

Photo from last month's social
at Camden on the Lake

See You At Our Next Social!

The networking events hosted by our Lake of the Ozarks Chamber of Commerce are great opportunities for meeting new contacts and honing your networking skills. Make plans now to join us at our upcoming social:

  • Date:  Tuesday, June 20, 2017
  • Time:  5:00 - 7:00 PM
  • Place:  Redhead Lakeside Grill

Redhead Lakeside Grill is located at 1700 Yacht Club Drive in Osage Beach. Free appetizers and a cash bar will be provided.

Don't forget to bring plenty of business cards! If you have any question about the upcoming event, don't hesitate to reach out to Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. We look forward to seeing you there!

Contact Your Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce!

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