It is easy to look back on networking events gone by with rose-tinted glasses. But if we are being honest with ourselves, despite the freebies, was it really all that great?
Running to catch the 7:05 train packed to the rafters with blurry eyed commuters. Then rushing across town, to arrive 5 minutes late to an 8 AM networking event and find that the breakfast sandwiches have already been snapped up.
Of course, we’re only joking, we can’t wait to welcome you back to our events when it’s safe to do so.
GMCC Networking is our hour-long answer to our members demands for face-to-face, business-to-business, human-to-human contact in a time when it seems impossible. Businesses can log in, meet other people in virtual breakout rooms, and make real business connections.
From hosting these virtual networking events we’ve identified some key tips for businesses attending that will enhance your virtual experience.
- Make sure to polish your ‘elevator pitch’ and get creative with it. Your time networking with other businesses is shorter than an in-person event so you want to make sure your introduction makes a great, long-lasting impression.
- Pre-plan some talking points. Unique business cards, venue catering and your journey here are no longer points you can fall back on to make conversation when there’s a lull. Is there a particularly interesting development in local news to discuss? Has something happened to you in your day-to-day work life that would be valuable for other networkers to hear about? Pre-planning some topics of discussion will help you fill those awkward pauses.
- Think about what you want to get out of the session. Is it to do some peer-to-peer learning, lead-generation or to raise the profile of your business? Having a goal in mind before starting your networking will help you gear your networking style towards your desired outcome.
- Write some questions to ask other networkers. We’ve all been on the receiving end of another networker’s 15-minute speech about themselves, and the likelihood is you remembered none of it. Don’t let this person be you! Asking people questions about themselves, their role, and their business is a lot more human. Plus, it will help you be remembered as a thoughtful person who is genuinely interested in hearing others’ stories.
We’re really pleased with how well our virtual GMCC Networking is being received by the business community of Greater Manchester. The best part is it’s free for Chamber Members and GM Business Community participants to attend.
Click here to check out our upcoming events.