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FFWD AdWeek: Notable Networking Tips That Work

You have to make your conversations count at this week's FFWD Advertising and Marketing Week. Not the social butterfly type? Here are five networking tips that work; because if there was ever a time to network, it is right now

If you are in advertising, marketing or communications, you better be prepared for FFWD Advertising and Marketing Week. Thankfully, we have compiled a Survival Guide for everything you need to know for FFWD AdWeek, from the best pre and post event places to entertain clients to what you should be tweeting and everything in between. Right now, here are five networking tips that work… because if there was ever a time to network, it is right now.

Keep it Real
There is nothing more transparent at a networking event than conversations that are selfishly forced and calculated. The other person won’t as receptive to you if he or she thinks that you are only talking to them because they can offer you something. Try this: go into an Adweek party with the intention of meeting friends (without being too unprofessional and inviting an advertising big wig to shots at the bar), and engage in friendly banter with people about everything from the speaker series you both attended that day to that evening’s Leafs or Raptors game. In other words, make a meaningful personal connection first; the professional connection can come second. People want to work with people they like, after all.

Continue Online
After you meet someone in person, maintain a mutually valuable relationship via social media. Of course, this must be done strategically to be effective. Don’t force it or try too hard, but you can start with a friendly message expressing how nice it was to meet this individual. If you are going to reach out to someone professionally via social media, you better make sure that you behave at least somewhat professionally and like an adult on your social media channels, and use the medium to share relevant content, thoughts and interests, not an over-saturation of self-indulgent showing off.

Body Language Matters
You must make a conscious effort to be alert and “on” in all ways with out it being forced or super unnatural. Remember, as soon as it’s over, you can relax in your sweats at home. Don’t forget that your degree of attentiveness is reflected in your body language. This means eye contact. Look the person you are speaking to directly in the eye to have more of a connection and to show your interest in what the other person is talking about. Don’t look over their head or shoulder, eyes darting at a chance to locate the next person you want to talk to. By the same token, your handshake matters. It should be firm (but not too firm) and purposeful. Find our entire guide to the handshake here.  Finally, though we feel we shouldn’t have to say it, don’t stand with your arms crossed over your chest, no matter how chilly you may be.  

Pay Attention
It is easy by now to smile, nod and maintain eye contact to look like you are engaged in the information the other is conveying. In your mind, though, you could be more worried about what you are going to say next than focused on what the other person is actually saying to you. Your conversation will be more genuine and meaningful if you pay attention. If you remember, for example, to ask about that person’s upcoming trip or how their son’s hockey team is doing the next time you see them, you will develop a better personal connection.

Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
As much as we caution about being too calculated off the top, the conversation will likely naturally venture to work. Don’t make the other person sorry they asked what you did with a long response that serves to confuse more than anything. Have an elevator pitch with an overall goal to capture someone’s attention in less than a minute and leave an impression that sticks and keeps him or her wanting to know more. If you don’t have an elevator pitch by now, why are you even at AdWeek? If you need a crash course, check out our full feature on networking here

If you keep these five points in mind, you will emerge from AdWeek with valuable connections that, if nothing else, will lead to new friends in your industry. Just remember not to overthink it. Oh, and your business cards – don’t forget those!

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)


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