How to be a success at networking events on the Thames
We all know that feeling of walking into a room filled with important people and marching straight to the closest obstructive pillar/corner, whilst keeping your eyes firmly fixed on your phone screen to make yourself look occupied. However, networking events are an unavoidable part of business life and, if done well, can prove themselves to be a very useful tool in your company's growth. Networking can be the backbone of your success, and so we've compiled a list of our top five tips to ensure that you make the best impression at your next networking event on the Thames.
- Don't get business card-happy. It's all good and well turning up with hundreds of business card prints, but if you're giving them out to every person that you hold more than five seconds of eye contact with you're defeating the purpose of the event. You only get back what you put in, so make sure that the contacts you build are a reflection of your efforts. Thames events provide an intimate setting in which to build some contacts so make the most of the opportunity.
- Take somebody with you. Like anything in life, having an extra person by your side makes you twice as confident in your approach and can relieve the intensity of one-on-one situations. If you're not as confident talking about a certain area of the business take someone with you who is - that way you'll cover all bases and will sound twice as smart.
- Don't make it all about you. Remember, this is a networking event and you are by no means the star attraction. If you take the time to set up a connection for two people who would benefit from each other's contact then you never know how karma might repay you. Thames networking events provide a more relaxed atmosphere in which to do this whilst you're out on deck having a drink.
- Ask questions. If you're somewhat of an introvert a few pre-practiced questions will ease you into the process by allowing others to talk. Networking events on the Thames are a great way to break the ice with some of London's iconic buildings providing the best conversation starters.
- Practice makes perfect. Though you may have visions of striding confidently into a room as people fall at your feet to speak with you, this is rarely (if ever) the reality. Yes, you will probably stutter and yes there will be awkward silences, but the more you attend these kind of networking events the better you'll become at presenting yourself in a personable and professional manner.
Follow our steps and we're sure it'll be plain sailing at your next networking event on the Thames.
By Lauren Mason, an online content writer for the West End on the Thames.