How do you avoid being a wallflower at a networking party?
Dan: It is all about momentum. The first intro of yourself is the hardest, after that it comes easy. Find the happy smiling person who makes eye contact, intro yourself and ask them what brings them out. Listen! Then, when someone wanders by with that “I don’t know any of these people” look in their eye, ask them to join and intro them to the first person you met. Now, you’re the introducer. Learn about the new person, introduce them to someone as well. If you do this 5 times in an evening, you’ve met 10 people, all of which are thankful someone listened to them, engaged with them and introduced them to others. You will look like a networking machine!
Taylor: Very simple. Alcohol.
Sarah: Be a networking pinata! Have plenty of business cards ready to pass out, in easy to access locations. Make it a game for yourself to see how many you can hand out and collect by the end of night.
Courtney: I try to identify someone who seems social and looks like they know several people already and get to know them. Then after I have met several people through them, I start looking for the wall flowers and introducing them to people I have already met. It helps me be remembered as well.
Emily: If you know the host, slip into their conversation circle. They should be able to introduce you to new people. Just make sure you don’t stay glued to their side the whole night (see below). Once you start making connections, move along. Don’t know the host? Befriend them!
Stephen: Here is my proven 10 step plan to successful networking better known as “Succ-working”…TM*
Step 1) Identify the most important person in the room aka The Target.
Step 2) Take up a position 30 feet from The Target. Intensely stare at them.
Step 3) Once they notice you, NEVER break eye contact, smile or blink.
Step 4) Once they become uncomfortable from your power gaze and look away, move 10 feet closer and stop. Never cease staring at The Target.
Step 5) Wait for them to look your way again. Repeat Step 3.
Step 6) When they look away the second time, shift 10 feet to one side. Wait patiently for them to locate you again and repeat Step 3. By now The Target should be sweating visibly and asking others around them if they see that person stalking them like Michael Myers. This is what you want. You have now established your dominance and The Target knows you are the alpha leader of the pack.
Step 7) Blend into a large group of people so The Target and their concerned friends cannot locate your position. They will begin to relax thinking you have left the event. Oh, how wrong they are!
Step 8) Approach The Target from behind with cat-like ninja skills, slip your business card into their pocket and whisper “call me” into their ear. When they turn to look at you, repeat Step 3. You should be nose-to-nose with The Target thus enhancing your power gaze by threefold.
Step 9) After 10 seconds of fear-induced silence, slowly back away, never breaking eye contact, and disappear into the crowd.
Step 10) Go home, pour a victory drink and wait for The Target to call you.
*Disclaimer: Busted Buggy Entertainment does not endorse the Succ-working technique. They find it to be reckless and mental. Stephen is no longer allowed to attend networking events due to his bizarre behavior. Please refer to the other team members advice to find networking success and avoid restraining orders.
Share your networking tips in the comments below.