Networking or professional events can be daunting and very nerve-wracking if you are attending for the first time. Fortunately, you can ease your nerves by thoroughly preparing.
The more you prepare, the more confident and poised you’ll be when you attend the event. Here are some tips:
Do Your Research
It’s vital that you’re well-informed about the event before you attend. If you haven’t done your research, you will make things difficult for yourself. So, check if it is an event that you’d like to attend and why. Check if there are entrance charges. Check if the time of the event is convenient for you or if you will have to miss work or an appointment elsewhere.
And check if, after all of the above requirements are met, attending will contribute to your growth.
Mind Your Dressing
Make sure that you are looking your best. The better you feel about yourself the more comfortable you will be when you enter the event’s venue.
If the event is al fresco; make sure you check the weather. If cold, dress warmly. If hot, leave out some layers but be smart nonetheless.
If the event will be in-doors. Dress in a way that you can easily remove or add a layer; depending on the air-conditioning. And ensure that you smell pleasant but remember to lightly spray cologne or perfume. Overpowering scents in-doors are a distraction and can bring on sneezing fits for some sensitive noses.
Make Sure To Eat
Do not arrive starving. So eat something before you get to the event so that you are not distracted by your rambling tummy. Or you look like you only came to eat from the way you are paying more attention to getting something to eat or drink; rather than on what is happening on stage or with the people you are near to.
It is very likely that there will be alcohol at some of the events you will attend. And you will be tempted to ease your nervousness with alcohol. Be careful, as you know alcohol can change the dynamics. Either you will make a good impression with your easy banter or you will bomb; because you are reeling drunk.
Prepare a list of a few questions you’d like to ask at the event. Asking questions at the end of the presentation reinforces the fact that you’ve done your research and that you’re truly interested in what has gone on. Try to come up with creative questions that can’t be easily answered with a quick online search.
You can also ask a question related to something the presenter mentioned earlier in their presentation. However, if you are too nervous to stand up in front of everyone. Wait to approach the person when you get the chance.
At the end of the event. Mingle and get contact details and give out yours. Follow up and keep the conversation going via the contact details you have been given. You never know what will come out of these interactions. But, resist joining the conversation for the sake of being part of a group chat. As sometimes, to break the nervous silence; people start to babble.
If the conversation in the group you are with is in no way connected to the events at hand. Move on to another person or group. Excusing yourself politely.