Going To A Networking Event Alone? Here’s How To Confidently Work The Room

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Mar. 15 2024, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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Attending an event alone can be a bit anxiety-inducing, especially when you don’t know anyone else in the venue. Without your own friends or coworkers to turn to for support, it can immediately start to feel awkward and lonely. We’ve certainly been there, and I can confidently say from experience.

According to a LinkedIn global survey, business networking is considered important among 80 percent of working professionals. Connections are important, and business relationships are no exception. With this in mind, here are a few tips that have been helpful for me to be more confident while networking, and to make quality relations.

1. Set intentions before the event.

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Source: Pexels

Write down what you want to achieve by attending the event. Are you looking to pivot into a different field? Do you need career support or mentorship? Are you simply looking to connect with others in your industry?

Honesty is key in relationship-building, and by staying true to yourself from the beginning, you can easily forge genuine bonds. If you’re not truthful, you’ll only exhaust your energy into a prospect that may not serve your real needs. Plus, it’ll keep you away from those who correctly align with you and delay those that aren’t on the same page with you.

2. When arrived, introduce yourself to the event planner or hosts.

Saying hello to the organizer of the networking event is a great way to make an authentic connection. The planner may know other attendees where they can point you in the right direction or introduce you to other people who have similar business interests. This also will help put yourself on their radar in case they have someone in mind that they can introduce you to later in the evening. 

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3. Be mindful of your body language.

Body language is a powerful communication tool, and sometimes we may not even realize what signals we’re utilizing in a room full of people. Crossing your arms or turning your body away from the room, for instance, can demonstrate that you may be closed off and not open to connecting. However, if you keep your hands to your side and point your feet to the open area of a room, you can easily show you’re open to interaction. Someone will be more likely to walk up to you. 

It’s ideal to remain cognizant of this throughout the night as it can be easy to fall back into what feels comfortable, even if it may show you’re not available to communicate.  

4. Stick to a conversational tone.

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Source: Pexels

Think of each new conversation like one you’re having with a friend. If it comes across like an interview right away, the person in front of you might feel uncomfortable and disengage quickly. The true purpose of networking is to build connections and good rapport with new individuals that can develop further in the future.

Embracing Networking With Confidence

Putting yourself into unknown territory (aka a room full of strangers) isn’t an easy mission, but chances are you’re not the only one feeling that way at the same event. More often than not, it’s human nature to immediately think you’re alone in an environment that is foreign to you. 

Conquer it by standing straight, smiling, and scanning the room for your next companion. They may even come up to you thanks to your newly inviting body language at play.

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By: Taylor Bushey

A New Yorker turned Londoner, Taylor Bushey is a motivated business professional who has worn several career hats over the last few years. After leaving her most recent employment journey in the financial industry, she has re-engaged with her roots of writing, marketing, and content creation. She’s now a full-time freelance writer and content creator. Taylor covers lifestyle, careers, fashion, beauty, home, and wellness. Her work has been featured on CNN Underscored, Cosmopolitan, FinanceBuzz, Apartment Therapy, The Kitchn, and more. If she's not sipping an iced latte and writing away in a local coffee shop, she's most likely thrift shopping for a cool, rare find or planning out her next travel itinerary.

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