Networking events are tough for many people.Â You have to go up to a complete stranger, introduce yourself and carry on a conversation with the hopes that either or both of you will find some benefit of knowing each other.
A little research about the organization hosting the event, the people attending, and even the venue will help put you at ease as you’ll have something to talk about. But even that is sometimes not enough – especially if you attend an event where it seems like most of the people in the room already know each other.
The best thing you can do is look for “greeters,” people who have the responsibilty of greeting guests and new members to make them feel more comfortable. Greeters come with different names and roles within the organization such as:
- Events Chair/V.P.
- Membership Chair/V.P.
Seek these people out and introduce yourself. Tell them it’s your first time at the event and you’d like them to introduce you to others. Chances are, the people they introduce you to will want to introduce you to the people they know and before you know it, you’ve accumulated a stack of business cards.
If you really want to get to know a lot of people in an organization, become one of these people. I became an ambassador with my local Chamber of Commerce and it really improved my experience at networking events.