Member networking events. Some people look forward to them, others secretly groan when they show up on the schedule.
The key to making your association’s events successful is to make them valuable to your members. The long and short of it is: if members are going to attend, give them the tools to make them count.
Part one of our two-part series on successful member networking explores strategies for members to put together a networking plan of attack before they even arrive.
Consider sharing these tips with your members:
- Set a goal of how many new contacts and how many previous acquaintances you will make contact with at the event. This keeps you on track to maximize the opportunity.
- Determine how and when you will follow up with people after the event.
- Bring extra business cards. (Of course.)
- Gathering cards is more important than handing out cards. Someone doesn’t have cards? Jot their info on one of yours.
- Keep a permanent marker with you and jot down what you talked about and your next step (pens don’t write well on business cards).
- Tell people that you will follow up (and then do). Then they will be more receptive to hearing from you. Plus, you’ll be more apt to do it because you said you would.
- As soon as you leave the event, take a moment to sort through the business cards you collected; rank and categorize them by how they fit into your network and how you can help one another.
- Don’t just leave the cards you gathered on your desk. Enter them into your database and schedule contact dates in your calendar.
Stay tuned for more tips in the next installment of the series. Can’t wait? Download Business Cards Are Not Your Customers and share it with your members now.