5 things to bring to a networking meeting. Represented by Business Card, Microphone, Lightbulb over head, listening ears, and thumbs up

Networking 101: 5 Important Things to Bring to a Networking Meeting

So, you’re heading along to your first networking meeting and you want to be prepared. You know what to expect from the meeting, but you don’t know what to bring with you. And if it’s not your first meeting, consider this a reminder of what you should have with you. Don’t worry, there’s not a lot you have to remember.

Out of all the things you could potentially bring, we believe these 5 are the most crucial:

Networking Means Business Cards

Arguably the most important thing. Networking meetings are opportunities to give and gather information. You might not manage to get to talk to everyone during the first meeting, so giving them your card gives them the information they need to contact you after the meeting.

If you don’t have business cards, make sure to have a way to connect outside of the meeting. This could be a digital business card, connecting on LinkedIn, sending an email during your conversation, or simply writing down your contact details to give out.

Without your contact details, how are the people that you met going to get in touch with you when they need you?

TIP: Make sure that when you give out a card, that you get a card in return. You can’t guarantee that the person you give your card to remembers to contact you. This way you can be in control of following up after the meeting.

An Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is simply a brief explanation of what you do. Often networking groups will ask you to introduce yourself with a short elevator pitch. Having one of these planned out is a good idea when you’re in business; people don’t always have the time (or desire) to hear a long, drawn-out explanation of your job. It should be between 30-60 seconds. The idea is that it’s long enough to introduce yourself to someone in-between floors when in an elevator. Hence the name.

New to elevator pitches? We have a blog just for you. Learn how to create an elevator pitch in 3 simple steps!

An Open Mind…

Being open-minded to other people’s work, lives, and experiences is part of what makes a great networker. Asking questions and learning more about the people around you helps to build real, genuine, and trusting relationships.

Having a deeper understanding of who people are also helps create synergies with them, as it can help you connect them with their ideal clients and people they will work well with. There will also be a lot of educational presentations and conversations that you can pass onto others.

…And Open Ears

There will be a lot of talking and information being shared! An important part of building good, trusting relationships is being able to listen. Our networking groups are about being a part of a supportive community and building trust-based synergies. Part of building synergies is finding out how you can work together, and you have to listen to figure that out. At the same time, our groups are a safe space for people to share both the good and bad that is happening in their businesses. Part of being part of a community means listening to others when they need it.

A Positive Attitude

Having an optimistic and collaborative attitude is part of what makes a great networker. We believe that a fun, lighthearted environment allows people to open up, relax, and share. Having a desire to help others and build synergies is all part of what makes networking fun!

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