1. Spend your time meeting and talking with new people instead of people you already know.
2. Begin friendly conversations with those you meet in the refreshment line-up.
3. ALWAYS have business cards with you—no excuses!
4. Keep business cards accessible. If you keep your cards in one pocket and other people’s cards in the other, you won’t inadvertently give away someone else’s card.
5. Don’t thrust your card at someone as soon as you meet. Wait until the conversation is comfortable, or even until just before you move on.
6. You don’t need excuses to end conversations—mingling is the whole point of networking events. Simply say, “I’ve enjoyed chatting with you—enjoy the conference.” Then move on.
7. Make contact with your new acquaintances as soon as possible after the event. A phone call or e-mail works, but the friendliest and effective way is to send a handwritten note. These are so rare nowadays that they stand out—and so will you.
8. If you have arranged to call someone after the event, do so when you said you would. So many people fail to meet their commitments that, once again, you will stand out in people’s minds because you do.
9. Be prepared to help as well as be helped, to give as well as receive.
10. Take every opportunity to expand and deepen your network. Look after it and it will look after you for your whole life.
Through her speaking, training and writing, Helen Wilkie helps people use practical communication skills for success. For more on networking, go tohttp://www.mhwcom.com/pages/valuefromnetworking.html While you are at the site, sign up for “Communi-keys” for free monthly tips and techniques on communication.