The Commission on Fashion Arts and Events hosts various events throughout Washington, DC to support the District's fashion and beauty industries. These networking tips will help you get the most out of your experience:
1. Leave the house.
Networking online is great and is certainly beneficial, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction. Meeting with people in-person allows them to put a face and a personality with a name. It also establishes a more human connection. Seeing a smile and shaking a hand makes a difference. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and meet people.
2. Set a goal.
Before participating in any networking opportunity, create a goal for yourself to achieve at the event. This can be anything from speaking to three people by the end of the night to making sure you connect with a specific person who’s also attending. Setting a goal gives you a purpose and focuses your networking efforts.
3. It’s not who you know, it’s who you can help.
Don’t go to a networking event thinking about what people can do for you. Instead, take the initiative to see how you can be helpful to others. Likewise, be genuinely interested and curious about the people you’re meeting. It makes a great impression and goes a long way in building relationships.
4. Work the room.
Move! You won’t meet anyone standing in the corner. Physically move around the space and introduce yourself to different people. Be friendly and ask questions. Talk to people, but make sure not to talk to someone for too long. Graciously end a conversation by saying that you enjoyed the conversation, but before leaving be sure to collect their contact information. That’s how social butterflies are born.
5. Stay in touch.
You’ve networked to great success, met your goals, and have new contacts you can help. What’s next? Keep in touch with them after the event. Follow them on social media and engage them in sincere conversation. Continue to touch base and offer support to strengthen your connections.