When I attend a networking meeting I am looking for different results depending on the different meetings. Any gathering of any sort is a networking meeting, even if you are going to be with just one person. Of course the more attendees present, the better the chance of meeting someone whom you have not met before or someone with whom you may be able to form a business relationship.
When attending any networking meeting, I anticipate learning something that I did not previously know or meeting someone new to me. There is something refreshing about learning that never ceases to amaze me and always rekindles my inner fire. Sometimes the what, or who, that is new may not be discovered at the meeting itself but may be found before, or after, the event.
Depending on the meeting and its organizers, your intent in attending may vary. Is it a business event, an entertainment function, a small gathering of friends, a celebration of some sort such as an anniversary or birth, an educational seminar, or even a combination of reasons? Whatever the function, you will be in the presence of people whom you may know well, or not at all. Take advantage of the meeting and spend time with the people that you never met before, or the people that you don’t know well.
Of course, you can spend time with friends, but after you acknowledge them, get to know someone with whom you are not acquainted or do not know as well. You never know what you may learn, or the new relationship that you can make. This does not mean that you should only make acquaintances based on who can enhance your life. Try getting to know someone whose life that you can improve, with whom you can share some of your knowledge. That way both of you can find the event was beneficial or rewarding.
At an event there is always the person who may not be comfortable being in attendance. It is perhaps the person who has never before attended a networking meeting; it may be the spouse who is present at their partner’s corporate function and feels left out of the small talk. Look for the person who is alone, even in a crowd or conversation. Look for the person who is “hugging the wall”, standing by themselves, or doesn’t engage in a conversation, even if they are physically included in the group that is chatting. Seek out these people and see if you have something in common, learn from them, and share with them what you have to offer. Treat them like you would want to be treated, or treat them even better.
Of course the most important thing that you can do in relation to any gathering is to follow up with everyone that you met. Words of thanks to them for their knowledge, wisdom, laughs, comments, attendance, or whatever are always appreciated. Fulfillment of your promises to them for information or clarification should be shared, just as you promised that you would do. Your follow up is essential to the success of the meeting, as well as to your reputation.
I still believe that every meeting, no matter the number of participants, is an opportunity that should not be missed. Learn, share, follow up, and enhance your life. You will be the better for it. Leave me your comments about this phase of Appreciation Marketing, or call me at 360-314-8691, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com. I even consider your reading this blog posting as a gathering of the sort that will improve both our lives. Thank you for your time, and remember to give, receive, and repeat to others to make everyone’s life better.