These days, it’s not what you know. It’s who you know or who knows you, that really counts. Tradeshows and business mixers can be intimidating for anyone. However, they are also the perfect opportunity to network and build business relationships. To feel more at ease prepare ahead of time, with full stomach, the right attitude and the right tools.
- The buffet line-up can be a great place to strike up a conversation. Spending all your time there will not make the best impression.
- Food is best saved for thought, not conversation. Juggling food and drink can present challenges when meeting people, shaking hands or while trying to carry on a conversation.
- Feeling lonely? Approach people standing on their own, groups of three or larger groups. When approaching a group of two you may be interrupting a private conversation and it could become awkward or uncomfortable.
- To meet and greet; make eye contact, smile, shake hands and say hello. Introduce yourself with your first and last name and, if appropriate, state your relationship to the host.
- Don’t use nick-names. Listen to how people introduce themselves and follow their lead. Ask permission before shortening a name or trying out a nickname, just in case it’s not appreciated.
- Avoid taboo topics like politics, religion, sex or money. In other words, stay away from anything personal or controversial.
- Ease up on the sales pressure. Instead show interest with questions, small talk and light conversation.
- Name tags should be worn in line of vision. This means on the right, close to the shoulder. When you extend your right arm to shake hands, the eye is automatically drawn to that area.
- Give and receive business cards respectfully. When a business card is offered to you, hold it respectfully and look at it before putting it away. When offering your business card, present it so it can be read, with the printing facing the person receiving the card.
With a little effort and self control, business events can be a fast, fun way to build your business network.
Kimberly Law, AICI CIP is a Certified Professional Image and Etiquette Consultant and principal of Personal Impact International founded in 1999. She is an author and a speaker, and works with companies, men and women helping them refine their look from head to toe and enhance professional communication, to help her clients look and act their very best, always! She is one of only 125 image consultants world-wide and was the first in Western Canada to receive international recognition as a ‘Certified Image Professional’ 2011 term. And has been has been featured as a personal image expert across Canada through the media. For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Kimberly Law at tel: 604-298-7228, mobile: 604-626-3907, email:
firstname.lastname@example.org visit www.personalimpact.ca or see
Kimberly’s Media Kit.