Networking is extremely important in the wedding industry, which is why we host Networking Nights, Mix & Mingles and now Workshops to bring local wedding professionals together to make new connections. While we try to host as many as we can in as many cities as we can reach each year, it can be hard for us to visit everyone – so you won’t want to miss out when we’re in your neighborhood!
We’ve given some networking tips in the past to help you make the most of networking events in general, but this post will help you specifically to be prepared for one of our networking events! Check out our tips below and you’ll be ready to mix and mingle with the best of ‘em when we’re in your town.
Say “Yes” on your RSVP
This should go without saying, but you can’t reap the benefits of networking if you don’t show up! We’ll let you know when there’s an event happening in your area, so all you have to do is say “Yes” on your RSVP and attend the event. We’ll be sure to send reminders and keep you updated on anything you should do to get ready for the event. Making that commitment to attend will make it more likely that you’ll actually make it, and you’ll see just how informative and fun our events can be!
Don’t give away your business cards
Bring your business cards, but don’t pass them out like candy. Networking is about establishing connections with other wedding and event professionals, not just giving your business card to anyone you happen to speak with. Think of your business card more like closing a deal than an automatic action. We’ll also have WeddingWire swag and goodies available, so don’t forget to grab those, too.
Be ready to branch out
It’s great to get to know other Pros in your category, but don’t seal yourself off – there are opportunities to learn from other services categories and to build working relationships with related categories. If you’re a venue, take the opportunity to speak with a caterer to find out if there’s anything you could be doing that does or does not work well for them, and vice versa. You never know what you might learn!
Plan your moves gracefully
As our events are exclusively for WeddingWire Pros, there will be a lot of potential connections you’ll want to talk to! With all those people in such a small timeframe, be sure to have some polite exit lines ready so you can have as many meaningful conversations as possible. It’s not mean to excuse yourself from a conversation and smoothly move on – don’t be afraid to speak up.
Ask questions that require more than a “Yes” or “No”
This may come naturally to some, but keeping a conversation going is often an acquired skill that comes with practice. You should be prepared to discuss your business and give your “elevator” pitch, but you should also come up with some questions beforehand that may lead to deeper conversations. If all else fails, be up-to-date on current events so you’ll have something to get the conversation started. A good rule for networking is to listen more than you talk, and asking those more in-depth questions will make for more meaningful conversations.
Keep your eye on your inbox for an alert when we’ll be in your area for a WeddingWire networking event, and be sure to check back soon for WeddingWire World details!