Ace the Room: What to Do Before Your Next Networking Event

Ace the Room: What to Do Before Your Next Networking Event


Veronica Gil

Veronica Gil

302 week ago — 5 min read

If content is king, connections are your aces. Just play your cards well, and the right connections can turn windfalls to wins, get you out of sticky situations and open the doors to better opportunities.


Networking is the secret sauce for connections and brands that last. Yet so many professionals are afraid of it or have yet to learn how to make it work for them.


Here are some tips on playing the winning hand by maximizing your next networking opportunity.


Before the Event: Stop Hoping, Start Scoping

Some networking events are spontaneous. Others are pre-planned, and most of the latter come at substantial costs – in the form of registration fees, travel expenses, or even just the opportunity cost of work you could have finished instead of networking.


That’s why crossing your fingers and hoping for the best isn’t the most practical strategy.


The good news is, you can use what you know to your advantage. At the soonest possible time, find out the 3 Ps of the event – people, program, places.


Check out the event page, website or past write-ups of the event to know the profile of expected attendees and resource persons or speakers, if any. Note not just potential prospects, but also potential competitors. This lets you strategize on the different ways you can deliver your elevator pitch, depending on the person you’re speaking with.


When it comes to the program, most people only ever check the break times. But the savvy networker knows the program inside-out, giving them a better grasp of when they can approach not just fellow participants, but also guest speakers who often “speak and run,” or who are present for a limited time only.


What you know beforehand about the event can also be ammo for small talk. Knowing the venue’s address is not enough, that’s why successful networkers always take note of the following:

  • Social zones – Areas like refreshment tables and queues, where people are more likely to be relaxed and open to casual conversation, are great for meeting new people.

  • Suppliers’ and exhibitors’ booths – It’s a shame that most people only ever go here for the freebies and raffles, but they’re great conversation starters for individuals and groups alike.  

  • Nearby restaurants, cafes or speakeasies – Have a few options in mind for different personality types; these are the places where conversations with new-found connections can continue conversations with after the event.


Now that you’ve armed yourself with your pre-event networking strategy, it’s time to hit the ground running. Stay tuned for the next articles in this series to learn more tried-and-tested tips you can use during (Part 2) and after (Part 3) your next networking event.


Your Turn

What are some of your favorite networking tips? Share them in the comments section below!


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  • Work the Room: How to talk to anyone at networking events
  • Your Language is your Leverage: Business communication that drives results
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker. 

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