• How to Network in the Modern Age

     
    POSTED June 20, 2016
     

Networking has changed a lot over the decades. With the integration of multiple social media platforms, there has been a lot more opportunities created. However, with those opportunities, comes the question of how to achieve the right balance of online and personal connections? Networking is an essential skill needed for growth within any industry. After all, "It's not what you know, but who you know.” Here are a few tips on how to turn strangers into helpful professional contacts. Happy Networking!

1. Network with Everyone- Don’t feel like you should be confined to only networking with professionals within your industry. Grow your contact base and connect with people from outside your industry. You never know what the future holds.

2. Set Goals- When at a networking event, one helpful practice is to set goals. For example, set a goal to talk to five people. It will get you out of your comfort zone and you’ll feel great when it’s accomplished. However, make sure these conversations are meaningful, don’t just chat for 5 minutes and call it a day. Take the time to listen to them, make a real connection.

3. Follow-Up- This is most important rule of networking. Don’t let a possible opportunity slip away by not following-up with a phone call or e-mail. This also applies on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. When you send someone a request, send them a thank you Inmail or message. Keep the conversation going.  It’s a good way to add a personal touch and create a lasting impression.

4. Utilize Social Media - LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have all been great additions to the networking tool kit.  Make sure your profile is up to date and it shows you are worth connecting with. Keep in touch with industry leaders and engage with their profiles. Friend and follow other professionals within your industry and share relevant industry content. Having an online presence is an unspoken requirement these days.

5. Attend Events- Networking events may seem like a thing of the past, but they remain the tried and true way to build your contact base. These can range from book clubs to professional events. The more you attend a recurring event, the more you get out of it. These help put you out there and make important personal connections.

As everyone in the industry knows, meetings can produce a variety of waste, from unused handouts and unnecessary printing to the overuse of plastic and paper products. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency cited meetings and events as the second most wasteful industry, after building and construction. The good news is that meeting planners are continuing to become more and more conscientious about reducing this waste and lessening the carbon footprint of their events.

 

Social media has drastically changed since I was in college. Thanks to Instagram, Twitter and FB, the hashtag symbol is becoming a larger topic when it comes to following, reporting and engaging with companies, friends or events. I personally love following the buzz during events that I cannot attend via hashtags. Savvy event planners can use hashtags to help our industry and business grow.

 

In our Winter 2017 issues, we’re featuring the tech companies that were part of the 2016 ibtm America TechCollective in partnership with DAHLIA+. Because we can only fit so much in print, read on here for our full interview with Dade J. Gaylord, vice president of operations, Zerista, by JackRabbit Systems, Inc.

Zerista is an event management website and mobile app that allows event organizers and attendees to manage schedules, set up meetings, generate leads, and participate in games that encourage event learning, discussion, and collaboration.