Networking cheat sheet


What do you do when you go to a new networking event? Find some new people to meet? Talk to friends and business associates? Pass out cards? Collect them?

Do you have an agenda?

You don’t need one. There’s only one thing you need to do.

Get there early, meet the organizer(s) of the event and offer to help.

Introduce yourself, or ask someone you know to introduce you, and see what they need (door greeter, sign-in guests and pass out badges, help people find the restroom, etc.) and volunteer for something.

That’s it. That’s all you need to do.

The organizers always need help and will appreciate anything you can do to make their life easier and their event better. Even if they have everything covered, they will appreciate your offer and remember you.

Yes, you want to meet new people, but the best way to do that is to show the organizers some love. They know the key people who are attending—who they are and what they do—and can introduce you to them.

And they will.

Follow-up with the organizer after the event, tell them you enjoyed meeting them, liked the speaker, or the chicken, and you look forward to seeing them at the next event.

And send them some information about yourself, with a photo, so they can put your name to your face.

At the next event, get there early, find the organizer, offer to help, and when the dust has settled, ask them if there’s anyone there you should meet.

That’s how it’s done.