Social Samosa recently held their second Bangalore meetup at News Cafe, Indiranagar. As this was the first #SSMeetUp I attended, I was unsure of what to expect in terms of a crowd, but was pleasantly surprised at the fun we had there.
An event like this can attract a host of different professionals that you would benefit from connecting with. Agency people, freelancers, or just a few friends – you’re guaranteed to run into someone who can make your evening a success.
But what are a few things you can do to ensure that YOU make your evening a success?
a. Locate people you have never met in person: So you’re a Twitter guru who’s found like-minded people online. Or you’ve been freelancing for someone you’ve met over LinkedIn. Or maybe you just want to know what the social media industry is all about, and you’ve found a couple of interesting bloggers who you follow.
Now is the time you put faces to names.
Get in touch with the people you know as online entities and tell them you would like to meet in person. Follow up with them when you reach the event. More often than not, it is simple to slip into conversation with someone you know something about.
b. Get “carded”: While working the room, you’re bound to meet people who you connect with, either on a personal note, or a professional one. Make sure you get their contact details – it’s just much easier to get a card. If you think you may forget who is whom, don’t hesitate to scribble a couple of pointers on their card, to remind you of who is whom.
c. Explain yourself: Rehearse a variant of an elevator pitch before you attend the event (to know more about an elevator pitch, you can view my simple presentation on Prezi HERE) Just a few lines on who you are and what you do is enough.
Make sure to include the important points like what you are looking for. Try to leave out unnecessary details like what your cat’s name is. The person you meet should be able to grasp a quick idea of what exactly it is you stand for, and do for a living, and most importantly, how you could be of benefit to each other.
d. Identify your crowd: If you’ve just reached and are sipping your drink pensively in the corner before you can work up the courage to get started, use that time wisely. Observe the different groups around you. Don’t dismiss the quiet ones. Figure out who is client, agency, freelancer, or just there to have a good time – and then, move in.
e. Get personal: People may remember you as “the writer with 3 years of work experience”. But why risk that when they could remember you as yourself?
Remember, you have a good chance of working with almost everyone who is currently in that room. Even if you aren’t directly working with them now, they may be someone you could work with in the future. Remembering little things about them doesn’t take up much memory, and ask questions.
f. Keep in touch: The best way to make sure people don’t just vaguely think of you, is to connect with them once the event is over. Just a simple “was nice to connect with you” on Twitter or LinkedIn does the trick. Not only will this help you build contacts, you can count them among your resources for any future plans.
At the end of the day, all it takes is a little bit of networking magic to make sure your dreams take off.