Tips for Networking

Tips for Networking

One of our favourite things to do at Goodordering is to meet new people. Last week we opened our doors to some friends at Experiential Agency Bright to host a get together called SHAKE with a bunch of creatives. 

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If you are interested in joining us/them for a drink at their next event be sure to join their facebook group HERE

Goodordering Offline Store Party

We did expect to see a few people, but we didn't expect the 100+ who turned up. Our little shop was packed to the brim and spilled out the sides a bit. 

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I was surprised at the number of people who were brave enough to go to a 'networking' event by themselves, hats off to those people because when you put yourself out there, not only do you meet new amazing people, but you also build up your own personal coolness... because i think there is nothing cooler than someone who can go out and chat to new people by themselves! I've been practicing a lot over the years and its still challenging but rewarding.

Goodordering Offline Store Party

My friend Russell from Hackney GT came down and played some tunes, and it was nice to catch up on bike related business between eating donuts and sipping the nectar of Deviant & Dandy. :)

Goodordering Offline Store Party

I'm no expert, but here my top tips to networking:

Don't focus on the networking, its not a competition to see how many business cards you collect (who even has business cards these days?!). One fantastic contact could make the whole event worthwhile. Overall i recommend going for quality over quantity, there is no way you can talk to everyone which is a shame because even when i look at these photos i'm thinking damn, i didn't talk to that person... but next time....

but, in saying that...

Don't get stuck talking to one person for the whole time, everyone is there for probably the same reason, but when you do want to duck out of a conversation, its best to disguise it as either going for a wee, or going to get another drink. 

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If you are shy, its great that you made it to the networking event in the first place. Use your vulnerability to your advantage. Just smile and say hi to the friendliest looking person. If people are already chatting in groups, don't worry, just wait for the appropriate moment, smile and say hi!

Another tip for shy people, wear something that is conversation worthy. I have a silver sequins dress that i bought once to wear to an event where i definitely didn't know anyone. Contrary to logic, it actually opened up conversation to many people. Now i wear that dress to all my lonely-guy events. Wear a big colourful scarf, bright pink lipstick or an interesting brooch (but maybe not all at the same time), its a winner.

Iain Swan and Dave from Bright experiential agency

This is iain and dave in the pic above

Don't drink too much, well don't drink too little either (unless of course there is a good reason) I have to admit, for me a couple of glasses of wine is a great way to break the ice, but everything in moderation. 

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Don't talk about yourself too much - be curious about other people. This is not a networking tip, this is a life tip.

Don't assume anything about anyone. You never know who someone could introduce you to, or how they could possibly help you. My rule is to genuinely be interested and interesting. 

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Link to people straight away on linked in or facebook or some kind of social platform. if you can do it there and then, its best becuase then you will remember them and have a way of contacting them in the future. If i'm on instagram, i look them up whilst i'm standing with them, usually follow them right away and then 'flag/archive' one of their images straight away that might jog your memory. After a few drinks its all a blur. Don't rely on your memory. You can also encourage other people to do that with you, so they don't forget you!

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Thank the organiser(s) because they are the ones who can further connect you all. And also because its just nice manners. 

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Follow up after, don't wait too long before following up on any contacts you make. Even just an email to say hi, can make a huge difference in how people remember you.

Goodordering Offline Store Party

Have fun. Thats also not a networking tip, but a life tip :) 

Jacqui xx

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