If you’ve ever wondered how it’s possible to walk into a room of strangers and nail networking, we’ve got you covered. We do it all the time at conferences! Walking up to strangers can be intimating but we’ve got some tips on how to make it work. And look, sometimes it is painfully awkward. But channel your inner Issa Rae and let it get a little bit awkward, it might make the interaction all the more memorable.
Nail down your pitch.
When you’re in a room with 500 other women, be it at the conference or even at our Express happy hour before our keynote speakers, you’re going to have to nail that pitch! Know what you’re all about. So make it concise and straight to the point. No beating around the bush and no overtly selling yourself. BS tends to reek in a crowded environment.
Don’t give out your cards, swap ‘em
Why give when you can trade? You should always make sure to swap when you can. Sometimes the old “I don’t have any cards on me” is true, sometimes it’s false. It’s easy to read if someone wants to continue the relationship, but being a little bit forward in this situation can’t hurt. If the other people doesn’t have a card, offer to send a text or email right there. Even though some people cringe a bit when you say, “I’ll send you an email right now,” it’s the best way to get into someone’s inbox. At that point, you’ve done your work.
Practice, practice, practice.
It makes perfect.
If you’re feeling antsy thinking about what you should say to start a conversation with someone, practice with your friends and see how you can nail down the starting a conversation with a stranger. From the approach, to how you introduce yourself, to what you talk about, make sure you can simulate the an entire conversation with a stranger via your friend. Come in ready with a game plan and see that networking anxiety go away.
Don’t be an attention seeker.
Engage with a crowd, but you don't need to be the center of attention. It’s easy to fall into the hole of talking about yourself and letting people know about all the things you do in a networking setting. But take a look back and think about the last person who wouldn’t stop rambling about themselves.
Exactly. Don’t be that person.
Wear it and work it.
Wear your confidence and work your outfit. If you’re not feeling up to hot stuff because you’re heading to an event after a long day at the office, throw on a statement earring and a little lipgloss (both goodies Express is giving away to C&C Seattle attendees in the gift bag!) and walk through the front door with a smile.
And most importantly.... Show UP!
Maybe the hardest part of networking is finding the right opportunities & showing up! Easier said than done when you’re slammed with work… That’s why Express is sending one lucky winner + a boss friend to Create & Cultivate Seattle! As the official Happy Hour sponsor, they’re not only hooking you up with tickets, travel + stay, but also the wardrobe to keep you looking fly while you work your new connections.
WIN #CREATECULTIVATESEA TIX on the @Express Insgram Post HERE
Here's how to enter:
1. Follow @Express and @CreateCultivate on Insta.
2. Tag a woman who inspires you in the comments of this instagram post.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. SWEEPSTAKES BEGINS AT 10:00 AM ET ON AUGUST 18, 2017 AND ENDS AT 11:59 PM ET ON AUGUST 20, 2017. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF U.S., PUERTO RICO, 18+, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. SEE OFFICIAL RULES: http://bit.ly/2fNUQZs