Now that you've done your homework and found a professional networking event in Denver that's right for you, how do you get involved and make a good impression to support your business? Being an active member of networking events or groups you attend cultivates career growth through meeting and establishing mutually beneficial connections with like-minded business professionals. Here's how you can get involved in Denver networking events.
Be clear on your objectives so you can optimize your time at an event. If there is a guest list available before the event, spend some time going over it and make a note of anyone specific you would like to connect with. Prepare a short elevator pitch describing what you do and keep a mental list of the value you could offer to others to foster a mutually beneficial relationship.
Body language is a very powerful tool. Don't undermine your efforts by discouraging people from approaching you because of your body language. Always make eye contact when you are talking to someone, especially when they are talking to you. Eye contact tells someone you're engaged and interested in the conversation. Stand up straight and refrain from crossing your arms in front of your chest, which could send the message that you are bored, defensive, or uncomfortable.
Professional relationships are a two-way street. Don’t go into your networking events expecting immediate results. If you focus solely on your own goals and what you want to accomplish, you could miss out on possible opportunities to form a genuine connection with another business person in Denver. Make it your mission to find people you’re interested in, share your experience, ask about their reasons for networking, and determine if you can be of value to each other.
Don't fall into the habit of pushing your card into the hand of everyone who crosses your path. Be selective with who you share your business cards with and focus on collecting cards from people who fit the profile of the goals you set. And remember, when you get someone else’s business card, you control the follow-up.
Following up is essential in building the foundation of a strong relationship. Don't procrastinate; ideally, you should reach out to new connections within 24 hours of your networking event to keep yourself fresh in their mind. Send them an email letting them know you enjoyed meeting them and are looking forward to getting to know them. Remember, this is a professional message — you want to make a positive impression and initiate another form of contact in the future, whether it’s a chat over coffee or another event you’ll both be attending. Ensure you include your contact information so they have it handy. You'll also want to connect with them on LinkedIn.
For regular, dedicated networking opportunities across a wide variety of locations, join 4BR’s business networking groups. Our groups are composed of professionals across industries who are focused on building effective networking connections. See what groups are in your area and get started with 4BR.