Preparing for Your Next Networking EventYou have found the perfect association with lots of potential for meeting new clients and contacts. You have signed up for the breakfast program next week. You have plenty of business cards and have practiced your "elevator pitch." You are ready to go. Not so fast.
You probably already use LinkedIn to connect with new contacts after an event. Have you tried using LinkedIn to connect with contacts before an event?
Take 15-20 minutes a few days before the event and use LinkedIn to:
- Let others know you will be attending the event. Post as a status update or use LinkedIn's Event tool.
- Research other people attending the event. Ask the event organizer for a list of attendees before the event. You can look up the attendees on LinkedIn to see who you already know and identify connections you have with other attendees.
- Schedule times to meet with prospects at the event. Use LinkedIn to send invitations to meet at the event. I recently heard a statistic that someone is three times more likely to answer an email from someone they don't know if it was sent through LinkedIn than if it was sent using a work or personal email address. Give it a try.
- Prepare talking points. Read group discussions to learn hot topics and interesting tidbits.