Tips of the Trade: ‘Tis the Season to Work the Room Quickly
2. Read the names on the badges at the registration table. I like knowing whom I might meet: prospects, clients, competitors, referral resources, etc.
3. Once people start flowing in, I stay near the entrance to the main networking area. People are more capable of being easily engaged in conversation earlier than later. Plus, I will have a better chance of meeting everyone I want to meet. More importantly, I am seen by a maximum of attendees. Being seen is almost as important as being known.
4. If I must visit the bar or food tables, I greet someone and invite them to join me. From the front door, almost everyone is headed to one of those two places as their next stop after registration.
5. I offer to bring drinks to a gaggle of people. They will definitely include me in their conversation when I return, and, people feel good about people that pamper them.
6. After about 30 minutes, when the crowd has really grown and a good buzz is happening, I walk from the entrance to the furthest point away in the networking space. Along the way, I greet people I know but haven’t spoken with yet, I wave and nod at people I’ve already talked to, and smile at as many people as look me in the eye.
6. Once at the back of the room, I survey the room for a cluster of VIPs hoping I know someone in the gathering. If so... that’s where I’m headed. If not, I look for a fellow service provider to discuss who is attending. What we can do together is make mutual introductions and share information/insight about people in the room.
7. When the event is 45 minutes old, I have pretty much “worked” the room and can start toward the exit much like I entered: nodding, shaking hands, and smiling.