Our guest blog this week comes from The Perception Team, who along with Jury’s who have been looking at all important tips for networking.

The Perception team love to network. We understand the importance of building strong relationships both inside and out of the workplace to develop our network of business professionals, event planners, PR pros and luxury lifestyle lovers.  Networking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and it can often take a few attempts before you feel comfortable walking into a room full of strangers. So, we got together with the Jurys Meetings team to put together our Top Ten Networking Tips…

Business Cards When you attend a conference or event, make sure you have enough business cards to cover each delegate, to ensure you don’t miss out on any potential connections. At a large conference, it is normal to meet and speak to a lot of different people, so a business card ensures the other delegates remember who you are and what you do.

Request A Delegate List Before you arrive at the event, ask the organiser for a list of who will be attending, including their line of business and company name. This way, you can prepare yourself accordingly, and see if there are any delegate who you are particularly interest in talking to, as well as preparing any materials that you think other people might be interested in.

Dress to Impress First impressions matter, and how you present yourself is a reflection of both your business and you as a person. A general rule to follow is to dress as you, on a great day. You should also be mindful of any dress codes given to make sure you are appropriately dressed for the occasion.

Quality, Not Quantity Always remember, it’s far more valuable to make two or three quality contacts than collect thirty business cards. Don’t rush from person to person just introducing yourself and moving on, use your time wisely and spend time getting to know people and what they do.

Be Genuine Networkers know whether or not you are genuinely interested in what they do, so pay attention, ask questions and generally be attentive.

Make Notes If you are talking to someone who is providing a lot of useful information, don’t be afraid to write it down. Make the most of their business card and write down important points on them to remind you of what was said later.

Look For Opportunities Networking isn’t just about what you can do for someone, or what they can do for you. If you feel like someone could help you out with something, don’t be afraid to ask. The worst they can do is say no!

Follow Up You can’t expect to maintain a professional relationship with anyone if after you leave the event you don’t contact them until you need them. Follow up with any contacts you have made within a few days, and say how much you enjoyed meeting them and learning about what they do.

Don’t Take Over Sometimes if you are nervous, it’s easy to just keep talking to avoid any awkward pauses. However, you should remember that networking is about building relationships, and making other people feel valued. Be a conversationalist, not a talker.

Smile It’s a simple tip, but often overlooked. Even if you’re nervous, it will make you look confident, and will also put others at ease and make them warm to you quicker.

If you’re looking to plan a business networking event, Jurys Inns have some great locations and our thanks to the Perception Team for our guest blog.