Which Networking Events Should You Attend?
How does one determine which are the best events to attend based on one's best customer?
Customers are not a dime a dozen, especially in today's economy. So it is best to follow the rules mentioned before on how to define your best customer before attending an event. The customer definition will lead you to choosing events where they will attend. Customers have their preferences for events just as you do. They are also looking for ways to meet others. If you find out where they go, then you should also make a point of attending. I have often attended events that I would not normally attend, just to get close to a potential customer, and of course a potential sale. And it may be someone completely unexpected that is met at such an event. If your best customer profile attends this event, you can bet that others just like them will also be in attendance. In the long run, your opportunity to capitalize on the event will be enhanced by being very discerning about who will be there. It is akin to choosing the parties you attend.
No need to do this with an attitude, but you need to be aware of where you are going and why. Not all events will fill the bill. For example, if you were selling high end networking systems, you would not likely attend a Chamber event for small business. Not that the Chamber does not have anything to offer, it is just that your best customer is not likely to attend such an event, but people that attend Chamber events may be connected to your best customer. On the other hand, you will likely want to attend a business symposium directed at the larger size corporation. They are more likely to attend events that have other like minded companies as part of the participant list.
Now that you have defined what kind of events you wish to attend, it is time to look at your calendar and make the decisions. You need to make sure that when you attend an event you will be able to follow up your leads before you make arrangements to attend another event. Nothing is worse than getting a calendar full of meetings and no time to do actual sit down discussions and follow-ups with potential clients.
Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite, She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in June 2005. For more information visit BlueprintBooks.com
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