LA’s interactive team recently had their inaugural first shindig for the Los Angeles Web Design and Development Group Meetup. It was awesome (we were even rated 4/5 stars on meetup.com)! The purpose of the group was to facilitate a networking event for registered and non-registered talent within the interactive space. This also gave us a chance to get more face time with current talent to catch up with what’s going on in their world. We met some really stellar folks and I can’t wait for the next one! With that in mind, for those of you who are new to the idea of going to professional networking events, even if they are held in a casual setting (ex: ours was at Busby’s East)… here are a few things that you should keep in mind:
- Don’t forget your business cards! (You’d be surprised how many did.)
- Don’t forget to ask for their card (not everyone offers theirs up – or remembers too).
- Small notebook + pen – say someone else forgot their card and you want to take down their information (see also: point four). A small notepad is also great for taking down notes when someone passes you some exciting information to look up when you get home. People also tend to be very drawn and appreciative by someone who actually *listens* to what they’re talking about… it will make you stand out to the person you just met (in a good way).
- Don’t forget your phone – it’s a good gesture to develop a stronger relationship to show that you are entering someone’s information in your phone. It shows that you are committed to following up on future conversations or possible ventures.
- What’s your social network of choice? Most people are on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Don’t just ask if they are on these sites, ask which one they find themselves on the most… that way you know what to expect or how best to reach them through these channels.
- Once the event is over, make sure that you connect to the people you meet on these networks right away, that way you are fresh in their mind.
Although these tips may seem intuitive to you, it may help to have them jotted down just in case. That way you are always prepared and know you are making the most out of these professional networking events!