Are you looking for new customers? Grow the reach of your product? Do you need to know new market information and innovations? Or are you simply looking for an investor or potential collaborator?
The best opportunity, as a startup manager, to achieve these goals is to participate in conferences, events and conventions related to corporate networking.
It’s not easy for everyone because it goes without saying, corporate networking is really stressful. Especially when you are a startup or a small business and a sector novelty that wants to exhibit its project and make itself known.
Here are some lessons I have learned over the years.
Prepare for the Corporate Networking event
Find out about the event you need to attend Most events have at least their own Facebook page and an Instagram account. Follow and the event hashtag to get updated information and read the organizers’ posts.
When you register for an event, most organizers will send you a list of attendees. Study the list and create your list of people you would like to meet.
Search for participants. Check out their LinkedIn account. Sometimes you can also send a “connection request” before the conference to let them know that you will attend other times it is better to stay in the shadows and just watch. Sometimes I also do it with the speakers, letting them know that I can’t wait to listen to their presentation.
Prepare an elevator pitch, Prepare a short 30-second overview of your business or idea so you can catch your attention in no time. So you will have more chances that your potential customers will remember you and subsequently ask more questions.
Take care to bring business cards. You don’t know how many times I’ve seen writing information on flying pieces of paper. Be professional and bring business cards and maybe have a digital business card. Millennials use them all and it’s the future.
How to behave at the event
Coming soon. Take a comfortable seat and feel comfortable.
It’s not just you, we are all uncomfortable when we get to a place for the first time. So if you arrive earlier and have some time to settle down, maybe you already have a chat with someone you’re on horseback.
Access the conference, convention or event with the Facebook live feed and introduce yourself as a participant. Be surprised by the number of likes and comments. Share your thoughts on the conference in real time on Twitter.
Now the fun part …
Many of us struggle when it is time to talk to strangers. It is not easy for us to get close to people we don’t know and connect with them.
However, the network is essential for marketing your business especially in the beginning. You just have to know how to roll the ball so that a company friendship can be born.