Being Bruce -: Networking Event Tip #4 - Be Friendly (But Remember It's Business)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Networking Event Tip #4 - Be Friendly (But Remember It's Business)

Networking Event Tip #4 - Be Friendly (But Remember It's Business)

For most people this tip is again just oh-so obvious, but just in case you think it would be a good idea to send it to an over-eager, not quick getting it friend or colleague: business networking events are not the same as social, dating type events. They may look similar and are often held in like locations, such as bars, restaurants, clubs, or cool outdoor settings, and yeah, in many regions adult beverages are served, but a networking event is not, repeat not a place to go to get a date.

Sure, it happens that people meet at work or at business events and form more than business relationships, but the primary purpose of a business networking event is to meet people, to be part of the business community, and to possibly find a way to help others there. Again, this may vary by region in the U.S., but even though you might see a lot of hugging and even, dare I say it, kissing, it's just a local way for friends and acquaintances to say hello. Believe me, buddy, if you're new in town and think it's the right thing to walk up to woman and throw your arms around her and kiss her before saying hello, you'll get a wake up call on that one very quickly - not to mention the great likeliehood of sore body parts.

Be friendly, go with the flow, and laugh and shake hands, but don't go with the expectation of leaving with someone. Wrong venue, wrong time of day, wrong attitude, just wrong.

[And now a note to folks from "the north" from a former northerner who now lives and does business in the south. Guys especially, catch a real clue here, please. Everyone in the south is friendlier than you're probably used to. Men, women, and even impossibly beautiful women will look you in the eye, smile and genuinely be glad to see you and meet you and hear what you have to say. Do not, repeat, DO NOT interpret this with "northern eyes". They do not "want" you. Sorry, cowboy, but that's not the way it is. They're just being polite. Even to you, no matter how special you are.]

This post is one in a series on how to make the most of in-person networking events. If you're going to go (and I suggest you do if your business benefits from relationships), you might as have the most fun possible and give and receive the greatest benefits from the occasion.

If you know of a networking event in the greater Wilmington Area [which means to me anywhere from Topsail Island, NC to North Myrtle Beach, SC] that's open to visitors, drop me a note ahead of time and I'll try to post it.