I don’t attend a lot of networking events anymore. However, when I do, I make sure to do research on who, what and why? I’ve learned my time is very valuable, so when I decide to attend a function or schedule a meeting, I must find value in it.

Prior to committing to attending a social function or scheduling a meeting, I ask my self why am I attending? Does the organization line up with my current goals and mission? Can I benefit from attending or be of benefit to someone in attendance?

If I don’t get a yes to all three questions, I don’t attend. I also use a 6 step process.

1. Identify your audience. I do research on the group or individual. I find out the mission, board, or members involved. If it’s an individual I’m meeting with I try to learn their likes and dislikes. It helps when making conversation.

2. Don’t attend events or have meetings that aren’t a benefit either personally or professionally. We are all very busy and time is of the essence.

3. Don’t use social media as a form to network. Sending messages on a social media outlet asking for a meeting or pitching an idea to a complete stranger is a No, No.

4. Don’t wear trendy attire to a professional networking function. Your attire is the first thing that will be notice when entering a room. Make sure you are dressed for the occasion. Remember, first impressions can make a lasting impression.

5. Don’t huddle in crowds with people you know. Work the room. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to a new group or potential contact. However, don’t introduce yourself by handing the person a business card. You should only provide your card if the person makes a request for it.

6. When requesting a meeting with someone, have a clear agenda. No one has time to meet just to be meeting.

Last, enter a room or meeting with confidence and a smile. If you follow this steps and apply a few of your own, you will continue to Soar!

Gina Grant
Women That Soar