As the warmer and more social time of the year approached, our team became very busy with expanding our network. We found our way through the biggest tech conferences such as The Next Web and South Summit, and many smaller scale events ranging from small networking events to the igaming conference.
For a marketing agency, it’s important to keep track of the latest trends and hold a hand on a pulse of innovation. But that’s not the only value networking has for us. People are the most valuable asset any business has. So meeting the right people to collaborate with is the ultimate value of networking. We can say with certainty that networking plays a big role in our business growth. We’d be happy to share our tips so you could also use them in your business!
Look outside of your niche for connections/inspiration
As an entrepreneur, you likely want to be the best in your field and get ahead of your competition. For that, it’s important to keep an eye on what’s happening in your industry. However, to become a true leader, you also need to look for inspiration outside of it. If you only get to the events from your industry, you’d only be able to become the second best, losing to competition with more resources and experience. Looking outside will inspire you to ideas none of your competitors have.
In our case, we gathered a great many promotional strategies during the Gambling conference. As the industry is heavily regulated and restricted from advertising in traditional channels, they have to get creative in their promotion. No better place to learn how to engage your audience than from casinos!
Don’t be afraid to reach out - and be strategic about it
Meeting new people is what networking events are all about. Therefore, this advice may seem like a no-brainer. However, the catch here is, that you need to make the right connections, not just any. Therefore, think in advance - who is the right person for you to connect with? Do your homework and do a healthy amount of stalking on the people who attend the event. This will help you to understand what their needs may be and what you have to offer.
Be proactive - but don’t necessarily follow the hype. Taking a selfie with the biggest star in the room may add popularity among your friends but is not necessarily valuable for your business. Instead, focus on building meaningful connections with the people relevant to your development at the stage you’re currently in. It’s also much easier to catch them when the time is right - people are generally much more eager to connect with a drink or two after hours than in the short busy breaks between the sessions.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed in a room full of strangers. When trying to find your way around the location, rushing to make it on time for the sessions, or not knowing where to find the people you need, it can be quite difficult to meet people. However, you can make things easier for yourself by incentivizing people to talk to you.
Think of a creative conversation starter in your outfit/appearance. For example, you can come up with an unusual question and create a T-shirt with your company’s branding. Or have a unique accessory that is connected to your brand. Or do a creative giveaway, which will inform people about what you do. For example, an app that makes it easy to share expenses, Lama, did a toilet paper giveaway during the TNW conference. Their message was simple and easy to understand - using Lama for sharing expenses is as easy as buying toilet paper for your house.
These networking tips helped us to meet many of our good partners and EDGEncy friends. Together with good quality of service, a strong value proposition and a friendly attitude will make sure that you have a constant inflow of opportunities!