Inbound Marketing Insights

Inbound Marketing Insights

Tips on Working a Room

We have all been there. You are at a networking event and step into a large room filled with 250 strangers. The anxiety sets in. TMS Colorado manages multiple associations’ events and we’ve witnessed this time and time again. Take a deep breath…a room full of unfamiliar faces can be very intimidating but here are a few tips on how to work a room to make the most of your networking event.

  1. Determine three goals for the event that you want to accomplish. Some possible goals might include connecting with an old contact, giving your business card to a new prospect, or meeting three new contacts.
  2. Do your research beforehand. If possible, obtain a list of attendees so you can select a few people you would like to connect with at the event. If you know the event organizer, ask for a warm introduction to one of your prospects.
  3. Scope out prime networking locations. The bar, the food table and even the registration desk are usually great places to strike up conversations at large events.
  4. Target individuals and smaller groups. When you enter the room, look for individuals who are standing alone and might be eager to engage in a conversation with you. You should also seek out smaller groups of people who are facing outward and appear to be having a casual conversation.
  5. Body language is everything. Pay close attention to your body language so you appear as welcoming as possible. This means not folding your arms, maintaining eye contact and keeping a pleasant smile on your face. And, when you are introduced to someone, make sure your handshake is strong but not crushing.
  6. Break the ice. There are many ways to strike up a conversation with a fellow attendee, including asking what he or she thought of the previous session, commenting on the venue, or inquiring about why they are attending the event.
  7. Ask open ended questions to keep a conversation going and avoid questions that only require a “yes” or “no” answer.
  8. Don’t be cliquey. If you are lucky enough to know many of the event attendees, go out of your way to meet someone new, or sit at a table with people you don’t know.

What techniques have you found most helpful? Please post your suggestions in the comments section. For more advice on how to work a room, please contact TMS Colorado at 303-216-0472. We are a boutique agency for event and association management.


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