» Network Like You Mean It: The Art of Building Strong Relationships

Networking is extremely important in the wedding industry, as the Pros You Know could help you get your next big lead! At WeddingWire, we are very enthusiastic about the power of networking, and enjoy the opportunity to bring local Pros together at WeddingWire Networking Nights and Happy Hours!

Attending networking events is important, but knowing how to conduct yourself to maximize the contacts that you make, and how to positively convey your business to other Pros, is even more important. Based on our experience at WeddingWire hosted networking events, find below some top tips on how to positively represent yourself and build valuable connections. Remember, being a good networker is a bit like being a good date, so read on to see how you can make yourself, and your business, as appealing as possible to other industry Pros!

Arrive early
The old adage, ‘the early bird gets the worm’ is still around for a reason. Arriving early to a function or conference says, “I care about being here and this is a priority for me,” without having to say a word.

Have your digits handy
Being able to swiftly pass a business card to a colleague or potential client speaks volumes about your preparedness. Additionally, it already puts it in the person’s head that you’re accessible, and therefore will be easy to work with for future events.

Talk about THEM
As an independent business professional, you are aware of the pride you take in your own best work. Keeping this in mind, give attention and pay kind regards to other professional peers. Showing your appreciation of other businesses will encourage them to take notice of your work as well.

Remember details
Everyone is flattered to be remembered, and the more you can recall about your conversation, the better. Pro tip: take quick notes on the back of any business card you collect when you have a moment after the event. Note when you met the contact, a unique quality, or what you discussed that you had in common! This will help you to remember the Pro, and also provides you with personalized information to include in your follow up.

Stay in touch
Make sure to follow up with any contacts you make at an event or conference. It’s a good rule of thumb to make sure you’re always on top of any communication that may lead to a potential business opportunity or referral, and try to contact them within one week of your introduction while you are still fresh in their mind.

Pick the right second date spot
You know how valuable your own time is—assume the same about other Pros’ time. While you are still getting to know each other, propose meetings over coffee, not lunches or dinners. The more efficient a business meeting, the more likely they will have time to connect as you develop a professional relationship.

Be generous
Acts of kindness don’t go unnoticed! Often, in the professional world, they are returned or rewarded with more business. Once you get to know a contact you meet at a networking event, and are confident in the quality of their work, offer to recommend them to the next engaged couple who approaches you for a recommendation in their service category. Chances are they will return the favor!

Connect with other Wedding Pros on WeddingWire! Learn how to add Pros You Know to your network, share professional endorsements and more with Pro Network Basics.