Lately we have been talking a lot about networking and how important it is to get out there and promote your travel agency. As we have touched on in previous posts, networking can lead to lots of great things: referrals, new supplier contacts, some great industry friends, and much more. How do you prepare yourself to attend a networking event, and more importantly, what should you bring with you?
Here are 4 things you should always bring to a networking event:
- A Game Plan – Would you meet with a potential client without some plan or idea of how the conversation should go? No! Treat networking events the same way. Come prepared with information such as who will be at the event, what the event is about, who are you trying to speak with and why? Are you scoping out a new supplier or looking for some great leads? Having a game plan will help you to feel more confident when you walk into the event as to what your goal and expectations should be, as well as give you some direction as to what you should be leaving with.
- Your Elevator Speech – This is a great time to put your elevator speech to good use! Come prepared with about 30 seconds explaining who you are, what you do, and what you are looking for. This shouldn’t sound robotic, be yourself and have fun!
- Business Cards & Something to Write With – The biggest mistake people make when attending networking events is forgetting your business cards! We have all done it… Before you leave the office or your home, check your pockets or bag and make sure you have at least 20-30 business cards to hand out. And don’t forget to ask those you speak with for their business cards. It’s also a great idea to bring a pen and paper, or use your phone or tablet to take notes about your conversations. This will be extremely helpful when you follow up after the event.
- A Positive Attitude - Going to a networking event you will be speaking with new people, so bring your best self! People will enjoy speaking with you and be curious to learn more about you if you are friendly and ready to mingle. Do something that makes you happy before heading into the event, whether that is blasting your favorite music on the drive there, or getting a delicious coffee, do something to make sure you are in the best mood.
Ready to use put these tips to work? Find a free CCRA chapter meeting near you.