10 Networking Tips You Can Use on Your Next FAM Trip
10 Networking Tips You Can Use on Your Next FAM Trip
Networking is one of the most powerful, yet misunderstood business skills. Here’s how you can maximize the networking opportunities on your next FAM trip.
When you master the art of networking, you have the potential to make many important connections. These connections could help you to advance in your career. After all, sometimes it’s more about who you know than what you know.
If you’re heading to Dubai FAM later this year (or any other industry conference or FAM trip, you’ll have many opportunities to connect and network with MICE professionals from around the world.
But networking is not always as easy as some people make it look. It can be incredibly awkward to enter a room of strangers, break the ice and communicate in a confident and engaging way. Networking can be incredibly intimidating, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with it.
The good news is, networking is a skill that you can learn and get better at with practice. Here are 10 networking tips to keep in mind before you go on your next FAM trip.
1. Do Research Beforehand
Before your next FAM trip even begins, do your research to find out who is planning to attend. That way, you can prepare to meet them ahead of time. Prepare by reading their blog posts or researching the latest news about their company. This will give you a few good talking points to start with when you meet them.
You can also connect with them on social media before the FAM event even takes place. That way you can begin a conversation with them online to make networking in person even easier. It’s so much easier to meet someone in real life when you have been talking to them on social media, as you have done the hard work of breaking the ice already.
2. Focus on Giving, Not Getting
If you are too focused on what you can get from other people, you’ll come across as self-centered and your networking won’t be as effective. Instead, focus on what you can do for other people. Offer advice, share your connections, provide support and cheer on others.
Focusing on giving will help you to build stronger relationships and really connect with others in a positive way. When the time comes that your connections have a chance to share an opportunity with you, who do you think is going to be top of mind?
3. Ask Open-ended Questions
Rather than asking questions with a yes or no answer, try to ask open-ended questions that encourage the person you are speaking with to share more. This means asking more questions about the “why” and “how” behind what they do, as well as asking them about their particular experiences.
Start with easy questions like, “what brings you to this event?” Just be sure to listen intently to the reply, rather than just thinking about what you are going to say next.
This is very effective and can help you gain more valuable insight from the people around you on the FAM trip. Also, these types of questions will show the person you are talking to that you are interested in them and not just starting a superficial dialogue to be polite.
4. Craft The Perfect Elevator Pitch
When someone asks you, “So, what do you do?” – do you have a succinct and captivating answer? Or, do you fumble over your words and end up in a long, drawn out explanation?
When networking, it’s valuable to have a well thought out “elevator pitch.” Imagine that you are in an elevator with a potential employer or investor. If they asked you to describe what you do and why someone would want to work with you in the 30 seconds it takes the elevator to reach your desired floor, what would you say?
This can be tough to do, so try to focus on narrowing down exactly what it is you do and what value you can offer. This will make it easy to explain your worth quickly when you meet new prospects. Here’s a great article with some tips for crafting your perfect elevator pitch.
5. Show Up Early
Consider showing up a little bit early for events on your next FAM trip. When you’re one of the first attendees there, you’ll find that the atmosphere is calmer and people won’t have settled into groups yet.
You’ll be able to get a head start on networking, and it will be easier to find people who don’t have anyone to talk to yet. (Plus, if there are appetizers served you will get first pick!)
6. Come Prepared with Basic Questions
What do you do when there’s an awkward lull in the conversation and no one is quite sure what to say? For when this happens, it’s a good idea to have a few simple questions in the back of your mind that you can ask, such as:
“Which speakers are you looking forward to the most?”
“What have been your favorite speakers so far?”
“Where are you from?”
“How was your flight here?”
7. Know That Others Are Nervous Too
It’s helpful to keep in mind the fact that others who attend FAM events are in the same situation as you. They might be feeling just as nervous as you are about talking to new people.
Instead of comparing yourself to others too much, just try to relax. Focus on listening, giving and building relationships. Chances are that the person you are talking to is feeling the same way you are – so don’t worry!
8. Drink Responsibly
A little bit of alcohol can help you to relax and give you more confidence. A lot of alcohol can cause you to slur your words, share too many personal details, make bad jokes or otherwise embarrass yourself in front of potential clients or collaborators.
Remember, this is a professional networking event and not a party. You should always do your best to stay sober enough to maintain a good impression with the people you are meeting.
9. Bring & Hand Out Business Cards/span>
Make sure to bring along plenty of business cards on your next FAM trip! These are an incredibly valuable tool for making connections and ensuring that the people you meet remember you. They are one of the quickest and easiest ways to introduce yourself and share your contact info.
Don’t forget to include your social media handles on your card, so that the people you meet can immediately follow you and easily stay in touch. You’ll likely get a lot of business cards from the FAM trip as well, so make sure that you have a way of keeping them together and organized so you don’t lose them before you head home.
10. Don’t Forget About the Follow Up
If you made a great connection with someone on a FAM trip or a conference, don’t just end the conversation once you go back home! Ask what’s the best way to stay in touch with people – whether by social media, email or phone – and follow through with the follow up.
Every so often, reach out to ask them what they have been up to. This can be a simple one-line email or you can send them a link to an article they might find interesting. Whatever you choose! By keeping in contact, you can maintain this relationship for the long-term. If your contact comes across a relevant opportunity months later, they might even share it with you because you are still top of mind.
These are just a few networking tips to keep in mind on your next FAM trip.
If you’re interested in joining us for our next FAM trip in Dubai, feel free to visit http://travelersq.com/dubai-fam-2018-registration to learn more and register today. Spots are limited, so don’t wait!
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