In today’s hyper-connected world, B2B marketing success is often about who you know just as much as what you know. Networking events are unique platforms that blend social gatherings and business opportunities that can expand your client base or make meaningful B2B networking connections for future collaborations.
However, these B2B networking events present a new challenge: Making the most of these events involves more than just showing up. Transform your B2B marketing event experience with the 10 tips for maximising networking events listed below to make lasting, positive impressions on industry peers and foster genuine business relationships.
10 Tips to get the most out of business networking events
With a strategic B2B marketing approach and thoughtful actions, you can turn any B2B networking event into a career-advancing opportunity. Here are 10 tips to help you maximise your networking event experience and make every encounter count.
1. Research the event
Before you even step foot into the venue, take the time to research the B2B networking event. Who are the organisers? What industries will be represented? Knowing the agenda and speakers can provide you with conversational starters to demonstrate your genuine interest in the networking event and keep you engaged with industry peers.
2. Set targets
Set specific goals during networking events, like meeting at least five new people or targeting a couple of professionals you want to collaborate with. This focused approach ensures that you’re not just mindlessly collecting business cards but building a B2B marketing roadmap for meaningful connections.
3. Come prepared
Refrain from showing up empty-handed for a professional networking event. Along with ample business cards, consider preparing a short B2B marketing ‘elevator pitch’ about yourself and your business. This pitch should be succinct but informative, offering a snapshot of who you are and what you bring to the table to set the stage for deeper, more meaningful connections.
4. Arrive early
Arriving early at any in-person event allows you to get a lay of the land, feel more comfortable, and even strike up conversations before the event starts rolling and the noise level escalates. Being early also enables you to make a strong first B2B marketing impression before others, setting a positive tone for the rest of the B2B networking event.
5. Encourage, not sell
B2B networking events are not sales pitches. Your goal should be to form connections rather than hawk your offerings. Ask questions that encourage conversation and show your interest in the other person. Open-ended questions are an excellent tool for initiating a dialogue that leads to mutual opportunities.
6. Demonstrate your expertise and generosity
When the conversation does steer towards professional B2B marketing topics, seize the opportunity to showcase your skills or expertise by offering insights or advice freely. By showing that you’re willing to give before you receive, you establish yourself as a generous and valuable B2B networking contact.
7. Keep conversations concise
Time is of the essence in networking events, and no one wants to be stuck in an endless discussion—especially during virtual networking events. Be mindful of the other person’s time and signals. A well-timed exit not only frees you to meet more people to discuss B2B marketing matters but also leaves your conversational partner with a positive impression of being succinct yet informational.
8. Allow room for discussion
While keeping conversations concise is vital, don’t rush or dominate the conversation. Allow room for discussion and be genuinely interested in the other person’s point of view. A balanced B2B marketing conversation shows that you’re not just there to talk about yourself but are also interested in a two-way B2B networking exchange.
9. Follow Up
The networking event may be over, but the relationship-building process is just beginning. Following up is critical to reinforce the connections you’ve made during the B2B networking event. Sending a well-crafted email or LinkedIn message within 48 hours keeps the momentum going. Consider thanking the person for their time, referring to a highlight from your conversation, and suggesting a specific way you might collaborate or continue the discussion in the future.
10. Become a familiar face at networking events
Consistency is critical in B2B marketing and networking. The more you show up at different networking events, the more familiar your face becomes in your professional community. This ongoing presence breeds a reputation for reliability and keeps you top-of-mind when new opportunities arise.
Prepare for Networking Events with The Ortus Club
Networking events are fertile ground for building valuable professional relationships, but like any opportunity, they’re most effective when approached with purpose and strategy. From preparing thoroughly to engaging meaningfully and following up diligently, the steps to successful participation during B2B networking events are clear.
Partner with The Ortus Club to engage in events marketing platforms that serve as ideal avenues to practice your networking skills. The Ortus Club specialises in curating focused, industry-specific events that attract professionals genuinely interested in meaningful dialogues and collaborations. The targeted nature of our B2B marketing events allows you to implement the strategies discussed here, increasing the likelihood of making impactful connections.