Remember to smile! A smile is worth a thousand words if you are nervous or new to networking. If you look approachable people will gravitate to you.

Have fun! Business can be serious but you can have fun too.  The best networking meetings are those with humour and fun. Not only do you leave energised from being around likeminded individuals but you had a laugh too (a perfect mixture to set you up for the day ahead).

Be generous spirited.  Help others and they will want to help and support you too.

There is enough business to go around for everybody.  Don’t worry about your competition. If possible, meet them and have a chat. There will always be a point of difference between you so identify it and create your own USP. It’s good to talk to people in your own industry sector.

Be polite and be interested.  Don’t look over somebody’s shoulder when they are talking to you! Bad manners!

Do not text during a networking meeting. You are effectively conversing with somebody else via a mobile device at the same time as being with other people. It is very bad etiquette and extremely rude!

Take a small notepad with you to write notes about the people you meet during your networking.  When you attend a larger event some people may morph into one person in your mind particularly if they offer similar services or products. Key words will help you to differentiate them and keep them in mind for the future.

Always have a small stash of business cards with you wherever you go. You never know when you will bump into your ideal client or customer. Be prepared!

Follow up on any promises. Do this straight after an event to save getting bogged down and forgetting.

If you are alone at an event and feeling conspicuous, be brave,  go and say hello to the host of the event and they will introduce you to other attendees. 

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