Open Body Language
When you arrive, you may be greeted by a host before being released into the wild. While scanning, you may see someone that looks friendly to talk to, so you walk up and speak with them. Typically, we are drawn toward people that appear open and friendly. So SMILE! Keeping your arms uncrossed makes you more approachable. When speaking in a group, leave room for another person to join in.
Sounds like a no brainer, right? Well, how about meeting everyone in the first 30 minutes? This may seem challenging, but it’s a piece of cake. When you enter the mixer, don’t hesitate and walk up and start talking to someone. Introduce yourself, have a brief conversation, then move on to meet others.
This will allow you to get a little info on everyone at the beginning of the event, so that you can narrow down the people YOU want to talk to. Of course, if you really hit it off with someone continue to talk with them. This tip isn’t a formula, it’s more of a guideline. Go with the flow!
The Follow up
So, you met an individual that you could see yourself working with. Congratulations!… now what? Now you follow up with an email. Mention something you discussed at the mixer. If you are confident in your joke making abilities, by all means throw one in there. If you are not funny, this could backfire. It’s best to take the safe approach in this case. Make the email personable and don’t try to sell anything. Mention you would like to get together again and make the appointment.
Boom. You now have successfully gone to a networking mixer, worked the room, and got an appointment out of it.