Icebreakers For That Networking Event

DIY Fake Ice Cubes

Nobody really likes networking. Shy people really don’t like networking, but to get ahead in your career, it’s a must—no matter what your level of misanthropy—to go out and press the flesh while drinking cheap beer and wearing overly large nametags. writer Becky Johns provides a list of seven tips that will make you feel more social at networking events, including some we’d never heard before.

#4: carry a camera. Really? Johns says “people will often ask to use your photos later for a blog post or ask you to take a photo of them with a friend. You’d be amazed how many people want to talk to the photographer at an event. Offer to send the photos along after the event and exchange cards.” We’re a tiny bit skeptical, honestly, but would try anything once. Has this worked?

We much prefer tip #1: do some research–as in, if you have access to the guest list pre-event, do some cyberstalking and figure out who you know or whose friends you know. If that doesn’t work, just tweet yourself. (“Who’s going to the xyz event tonight?” You’d be surprised how well that works.)

Tip #2—ask for an introduction—is also one we’ve used to great effect. “Hey, who’s your friend?” or “Hey, I don’t know anyone here, who should I meet?” work pretty well. You still have to work up the nerve to say it, but then they do the work for you.

Oh, and this wasn’t one of Johns’ tips but good lord SMILE. It works wonders.