|6 Steps to Better Networking for Young Entrepreneurs|
by Matt Villano | Entrepreneur
"All young entrepreneurs know that time is money, which makes the time we spend at industry networking events almost as precious as the funding for which we’re all gunning. How can you maximize the benefits of attending these soirees? Here’s what real-life treps -- as well as some networking event experts -- have to say:
Have an agenda.
Not all networking events are created equal. It behooves you to research the best of the bunch in your area and decide which might be best for your overall start-up goals. What is your objective for the event? Are you looking to find a cofounder? Are you looking to meet investors? Are you simply looking to get more educated or inspired? Asking yourself simple questions like these before selecting a networking event can help refine your search -- and, in turn, get more out of your selections.
Nathan Beckord, principal and startup advisor at the San Francisco-based consulting firm VentureArchetypes, will scan the guest list of networking events he attends to identify people in the crowd he wants to meet. "I also will familiarize myself with the speakers -- not only who they are, but what they look like," he says. "That way, if they are hanging out before their chat, I can go up and meet them, whereas if I want until after they speak, they are often swarmed by a mob."
Don’t be shy about taking notes at networking events like Sepideh Nasiri’s Founder Friday, and definitely follow up.
Work the room.
Khan notes that this philosophy works both ways. "Give a card but don’t dwell on it," he says, "and let them write notes, too." Another option here is to use your Smartphone (or bring along a small steno pad) for more detailed scribbles -- though (so as not to make anyone nervous) it’s best to do this in the privacy of a corner or the rest room.
Watch what you drink.
What helps you make the most of networking events? Leave a comment and let us know.
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