If you are wondering what to bring to a networking event, I've got you covered. Now, individual needs will vary but everyone will benefit from these 5 must-have networking items.
Business cards are still around despite there being a multitude of better ways for people to get in contact with you. Most people will still ask you for your card if they want to speak with you at a later date, so you should make sure you have enough to share.
I carry around 20 or so using an aluminum card holder in my wallet. In my laptop bag, I have another 100 or so. I don't think I have ever given out more than 30 at an event but you never know.
I recommend bringing a smaller Chromebook (11 or 13 inches) around with you when doing networking events. For Engineers and anyone attempting to sell a tech-based product, people might want to take a quick peek at what you are selling.
If you can snag a 5 - 10 minute demo with a few prospects the ROI will be much better than simply handing out business cards. Chromebooks are very affordable and powerful enough for you to demo your web or mobile app.
They also have great battery life and give you the ability to download thousands of useful Android apps. It's a must-have for networking events and business travel.
One of the main purposes of a CRM is to manage contacts. As such, you should have access to it wherever you are making connections.
Many CRMs offer mobile apps as well as super mobile-friendly versions of their web apps. As you make connections, take a moment to enter them into your CRM.
In doing so, you may discover some common connections you have or find another product that may help your new friends in their business endeavors.
Smartwatches come equipped with all sorts of biometrics that help you track blood pressure, heart rate, stress, etc. Networking for an introvert like myself has always been as much a physical exercise as it is a mental one.
So I use my Samsung Galaxy Watch to help monitor my stress and set reminders for myself to breathe. The stress monitor within Samsung Health is a great way to remind yourself to relax and remain calm.
I personally have no clue if it is accurately measuring my stress level or if stress can be quantified at all, but I do know that after a few deep breaths, I generally feel better.
Networking events can require you to be on your feet for hours. To make matters worse, you will probably be wearing "professional" attire so your shoes won't be comfortable at all.
A pair of comfortable gel inserts that provide arch and heel support will provide some much-needed relief. Also, no matter how deep you are into conversations, don't be ashamed to sit if your feet start hurting!
And that's it, the 5 items above will make your next networking event more successful and comfortable. Most are inexpensive and easy to find.
However, if you only have enough in your budget for one, go with the gel shoe inserts and your feet will thank you.
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