In case you didn’t know this about me, I’m a people person. I believe that the people I meet have something to teach or share with me, and I hope I can offer something to them in return. It is probably for this reason that networking events appeal to me. I always get something out of them whether I make a new friend, discover a new resource I never knew existed, or sometimes I enjoy the delicious appetizers.
Many times I go by myself, and when I get there, I’ll approach someone who is standing on their own and start up a conversation. Other times, I meet people in the parking lot, and we get to know each other while finding the right entrance to the building. When I do this, one of two things happen. Either we become fast friends, or they give nothing but one-word answers, and I quickly find a way to move on to the next victim–I mean person.
Recently, I learned there are six main reasons people network: to find a job, to get more business contacts, to socialize, to pay it forward, to learn something, or to solve a problem. At the last networking event I attended, I met someone in a similar field to me–marketing and communications. I learned that she has a lot of PR experience, something that I need to understand better for my work. She is interested in email marketing, which happens to be my area of expertise. We are meeting for coffee next month. I cannot wait to pick her brain.
Do you like attending networking events? How do you work the room? I’d love to hear about your experiences.