At the Squamish Chamber of Commerce, we are always putting on great events for the local business community. You can check out our latest events.
And now that you’re signed up for our next event, it’s time to brush up on our top 5 networking tips:
ONE: Arrive on time – give yourself plenty of time to find the location, park, and find the registration area. The time before the presentation begins is often the most valuable, as it’s a key opportunity to network with the other attendees. Arriving early will help you to feel calm and relaxed and much more prepared to meet and greet with other people.
TWO: Take plenty of business cards – as mentioned, events are a great chance to meet new people and work on existing relationships. Have at least a dozen business cards on-hand to exchange with other people. But focus on handing them out to people with whom you have meaningful conversations, not just everyone you meet.
THREE: Have an elevator pitch ready – when people ask what you do and what your business is, have a short 30-60 second summary ready to share. Keep it brief but interesting and memorable. Looking for some inspiration? Check out this article with tips for the perfect elevator pitch.
FOUR: Set a networking goal for the event – this can vary but your goal could be something like wanting to meet three new people, reconnect with two previous clients, talk to Chamber staff about sponsoring the next event, etc. Having a specific goal will help to keep you on track and avoid spending your entire time talking with one person, or chatting with your friends. You have a reason for attending a Squamish Chamber event and that’s to further your business, make new connections and business contacts, and strengthen your existing relationships.
FIVE: Focus on creating connections rather than on selling – networking is a form of marketing, so it’s another opportunity to create a touch point with your clients and consumers. While at an event, focus on connecting with others and expanding your network of contacts. Later, you can work on building a level of rapport with the people you’ve met, and share ways in which you and your business can help satisfy their needs.
After the event is over, you’ve met interesting people, had meaningful conversations, and exchanged business cards. And now it’s time to follow up! Send an email to each of the people you connected with, saying how much you enjoyed speaking with them, and that you’d like to stay in touch. Or that you’d like to set up a meeting, talk over the phone, or that you’ve attached an interesting article related to your conversation. Ideally, try to contact each person within twenty-four hours of the event, so that faces and conversations are still fresh in their memory. And if you need to find out more info about their business, the Chamber Business Directory is always a great place to start.
Networking events are a great way to increase the visibility of your business and connect with other Squamish business leaders. By following our networking tips, you’re sure to get great value out of our events, and have a chance to create and maintain lasting business relationships!