I’m someone who hates going places on my own, especially networking events. I get really nervous knowing that I’ll have to actually talk to people. I’m never the one to initiate a conversation but when I’m alone, I have no choice.
After attending one of my first events solo, there were a few small techniques I used that I didn’t even realize were helping with my jitters. Continue reading for a few easy tips on how to successfully conquer networking events on your own.
1. Wear a conversational piece
You always want to look the part when you’re out and about because you never know who you may run into. It’s even more important to look your best when you’re attending events. It’s possible for you to meet a few potential clients while you’re there and the first impression is everything.
Just recently, I attended an anniversary party for a well-known custom suit clothier in my city, on a boat. I made sure that I dressed appropriately because I could potentially meet some new clients. I decided to wear a fringe dress, a blue leather jacket and gray tassel earrings. All three pieces could have been seen as conversational pieces but the main one was my bright, blue leather jacket that I draped over my shoulders.
As a stylist, I try to wear a different outfit each time I attend an event. If you live in a small city like me, then you’re more than likely going to run into a few of the same people. You would hate to have on the same look you wore to the last event.
2. Sit or stand beside someone who looks as if they also came alone
After making a stop at the bar (if there is one), take a look at your surroundings and see what kind of crowd is there. Look for people who are standing or sitting alone and go stand or sit by them. I would suggest waiting a couple of minutes to make sure they actually did come alone and then GO FOR IT! Ask them questions like:
What brings you here?
What do you do?
Is this your first time coming to an event like this?
Asking open-ended questions like these are an easy way to spark up a conversation and to get to know someone without them thinking you’re trying to hit on them. Keep it neutral. How they respond can lead to a whole other topic.
3. Ask a random person to take a picture of you
Y’all, this really works! You know that person you sat next to and sparked up a conversation with? Ask them to take your picture. The worst thing they can say is “no”. But why would they?
When you’re at these events alone, just try to make yourself comfortable. Grab a drink, a bite to eat and make your way around the room. You never know who you may run into. Also, be sure to have your business cards handy or a digital business card that can be sent via email or text with all your information.
In the end, don’t be afraid to attend events on you own. You’re likely to make more connections on your own rather than bringing a tag along who only came for the complimentary drinks and food.
Be sure to check out these tips and more in the “SoChic Survival Guide” set to release soon!
Photographer: E. Brady Robinson (@ebradyrobinson)
Creative Director: TTtheArtist (@tttheartist)
MUA: Aris (@browzing_with_aris)
Nails: Astrid (@astridcuret)