I wrote recently about my efforts to network a bit more at events. Part 1 was to spend more time with people that engage me. This entry continues with the second thing I’ve done.
2. Look for Someone with a Connection
Since I speak, it’s easy to pick out people that have been in my sessions. I make it a point to look around the room as I speak and make eye contact with everyone, or at least look at everyone. Do that often enough across 60 or 90 minutes and quite a few people stick in your mind.
Then when I see people walking around later, I’ll say hi, and ask them if they enjoyed the session, did anything stand out, maybe ask about their job, etc. I look for a connection.
If you’re not a speaker, you can do the same thing. When you go to an event, look for people in the audience. You can pick the speaker, but it’s often easier to connect with audience members. Scan and pick out a few people. When you see them later, even immediately after, strike up a conversation. Ask them if they enjoyed it, ask them what they thought of some point, or if they understood something.
Try to engage for 3 or 4 minutes. You might never see them again, but you also might find a new friend that you keep in contact with.