Five Tips for Attending a Networking Event Solo

 

I have been “on-the-go” this summer but that was the plan. I’ve taken the time to attend a few events over the past few weeks and I’ve done so SOLO. I am somewhere in between extrovert and introvert. I habitually stick with what I know. It is so much easier when you have a member or two of your girl gang with you when you step into an unfamiliar room but I decided that it was time for me to step out of my comfort zone for once.  I have enjoyed every opportunity thus far. I’ve met some cool people, learned new things, and made some connections that have opened the door to some amazing opportunities.

If you are anything like me, you have to boost yourself up a bit to meet new people in new spaces.  If you are, here are a few tips to consider for networking solo:

 

Tip 1 :Go!

Sounds simple but I have talked myself out of going to things for random reasons such as “I don’t have anything to wear.” If an opportunity presents itself, consider the pros and cons and if the event will add value to your life in anyway, go. You never know what could result from your attendance and taking this first step will make it easier for you to go to other events moving forward.

 

Tip 2: Speak Up

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “close mouths don’t get fed.” Walking into a room solo can be unnerving but walk in with your shoulders back, smile and start with a “hello, my name is.” This helps to break the ice immediately and it may lead to conversation. Take the time to familiarize yourself with a few people and watch the pool expand as the people you spoke to may introduce you to people they know or attended the event with. You will likely find a few brave individuals such as yourself who decided to attend solo to connect with as well.

 

Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are attending an informational event with Q&A sessions. If you aren’t feeling bold enough to ask in a group setting, take the next step and pose the question to the presenter separately when the opportunity presents itself.

 

Tip #3: Be Yourself

Don’t send your representative to any event. This isn’t sustainable or authentic. Be yourself and everything else will take care of itself.

 

Tip #4: Be Open

I’m not sure about you but I tend to have my guard up especially in unfamiliar situations. You definitely need to ensure your safety and remove yourself from any questionable situation. However, I’m sure you make decisions to attend an event because your values and goals align with that of the event and the event curator(s). With that said, let down your hair a little. People will either gravitate toward or stay away from the energy that they receive from you.

 

Tip #5: Follow Up

If you acquire business cards, email addresses, IG/Facebook or other social media account information from other attendees, connect with them and look for other opportunities to gather with them.

 

Ultimately make sure you do your research before taking a leap into any opportunity. The streets will talk if the event is worth going to. In the words of Queen Bey, “I’m not just preaching. I’m taking my own advice.” Now go forth and network!