Unlike being a frequent guest at an industry networking event where your colleagues and industry peers are well known, a Promotional Event presents you with a sea of new faces. So the old networking skills have to be dusted off and new tactics put into play to prevent you from being spotted standing all alone.
The Company hosting the event will want to invite as many decision makers and people with influence as their budget and venue can support. This generally means that there will be one, or possibly only two, representatives from each company on the guest list. Multiple industries will be represented, fielding a dynamic range of professionals.
Business is business so although you may be there to listen to the speeches, view or sample the products and spread the word, there are always opportunities to pick up new contacts that you would normally not meet at the usual networking functions.
Introduce yourself to the host
Know the host(s) so you can recognise them or at least enquire about their whereabouts. Greet them or ask for an introduction from one of the helpers. With all the people flowing into the function don’t dominate the host’s time. Introduce yourself and make a point to let them know that you would like to talk to them later. Apart from this being good manners the host will be able to introduce you to people who you can connect with.
Take a quick sweep of the venue
Knowing the layout and what is in store for all the guests helps in getting a conversation going, and you don’t miss something important because you’re wading through crowds trying to find your way.
Be near the action at the right moment
If there is no set seating plan then you need to keep close to where the main event is going to be held. If there are multiple attractions, events or activities planned, stay on your toes so you don’t miss out. At one event there were helicopters on standby to shuttle the people into the sky for a quick flip, but the crowds were acting cool as if they go on helicopter rides all the time. The weather came in sooner than expected and so many people missed out on a once in a lifetime experience. Being in the action and taking part in the activities makes networking a breeze as conversations start and flow unforced!
Remember the point of the function
Don’t slip into a lights-dimmed-standby-mode when the host makes their presentation. Even if you are having a hard time applying their value proposition to your business, there are people in the audience that you will want to connect with. If you are caught missing the main points of the presentation in a conversation later, your credibility will suffer.
Take something home from the event and give back a bit
This does not mean making sure you leave with a goodie bag. Do a bit of word of mouth promotion, social media posting of the pics you took at the event (even the selfies) and mention the company/product that hosted you. If you had some fun and gained some new contacts and experiences it’s only fair to spare a few kind words for your hosts. Let whoever invited you know that you had a great experience and that you can’t stop talking about the function. Keep doing this and you may end up feeling like a VIP when your inbox starts to fill up with invitations.
If you need to Organise a Promotional Event or a Product Launch you’ve come to the right place. The O Company will exceed your expectations every time.