When you attend many business events, you cannot avoid the occasional mishap, so today we share our experiences and big No-Nos, and the alternatives. We hope you get a good laugh but also learn from our discussion!
The NO NO... Hitting On Other Guests | THE ALTERNATIVE... Business events are not dating events. It's a time for relationship building, yes, but not at an "intimate" level. No 'set-ups' either, even if your son is super amazing.
The NO NO... Taking Too Long Around The Table | THE ALTERNATIVE... If the rule is "30 Seconds", don't go over. Stick to your business details and keep it brief! First, it takes up too much time if everyone goes over the mark, and second, everyone in the room will tune you out... so taking MORE time will ultimately hurt you.
The NO NO... Being Dry and/or Repetitive | THE ALTERNATIVE... Don't be too dry or repetitive - make sure you give something interesting, something easy to remember. Don't blab on an on about your specialties either, and don't always give the exact same 30-Second elevator speech!! Connect on a more personal level.
The NO NO... Walking in with NO PLAN | THE ALTERNATIVE... Have a goal in mind before you walk in the door!
The NO NO... Pushing Your Business Card | THE ALTERNATIVE... Get to know the people at the events first... build the relationship, and give a card before you part ways if it seems like there's a good connection for one or both of you.
The NO NO... Ignoring Attendees | THE ALTERNATIVE... It doesn't matter if you probably will not get business from this new connection, still get to know them! It's all about impressions, and if you're rude or non-existent, it's a fact that your meeting will never lead to something.
The NO NO... Typos In Your Printed Materials |THE ALTERNATIVE... Proof it proof it proof it! And if it's wrong, fix it and replace. Business cards, postcards, brochures, they are cheap. But your reputation for poor attention to detail is priceless.
The NO NO... Too Little Focus On Business |THE ALTERNATIVE... When a particular business group begins to loose their original focus (business, duh) and tends to do more activities for fun or whatnot, the group will begin to loose value to the attendees and will ultimately drop the attendance rate. Make sure the group is always nurturing the growth of businesses and connecting them.
The NO NO... Promoting Someone or Something Else |THE ALTERNATIVE... We understand you want to plug other business providers and talk up upcoming events and non-profits, but you have to keep it short. Keep in mind if you have too many focuses, the others listening will not remember what YOU do.
The NO NO... Unengaging Speakers |THE ALTERNATIVE... "Sponsoring" businesses often get the microphone for a short talk... SHORT is the key word here. Paid speakers should be carefully selected at the benefit of the attendees/members.
The NO NO... Messy & Hard To Eat Food |THE ALTERNATIVE... Stress on the finger-foods. At networking and business events, our hands need to be clean and readily available to shake hands. We are at these events to meet people. If you need to sit down to eat, or use silverware, the food is taking away from the benefits of the event.
The NO NO... Hanging With Your Crowd |THE ALTERNATIVE... Break away from your colleagues and friends and go meet new people. At the same time, give your connections a chance to get away and meet new people too.
The NO NO... Heavy Talkers |THE ALTERNATIVE... If the conversation is one sided, one person isn't learning and the other probably isn't feeling connected. Try to make sure your conversation is actually a conversation rather than a mind-dump. If you tend to talk a lot, learn to leave breaks in your conversation so others can weigh in, ask questions, etc.
The NO NO... Shutting Down Due To Intimidation |THE ALTERNATIVE... Don't choke up just because the other person is a big shot! Everyone can connect on multiple levels... talk about interests, hobbies, anything!
The NO NO... Making Assumptions |THE ALTERNATIVE... First impressions go both ways! Don't assume someone is or isn't a certain way just because of their appearance (short hair, long hair, tattoos, attire, etc.)... but at the same time, cater your appearance to the event you are attending.
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Brian DeLeonard, Carroll County State's Attorney, leads a team of nearly 20 attorneys and over 50 total team members. Brian has practiced law for nearly 20 years and previously provided legal instruction for 15 years. While cracking down on crime and developing educational programs for our county, Brian is very involved in our business and non-profit community, supporting many a cause and taking on many causes of his own. To learn more about Brian and the State's Attorney Office, please visit carrollcountystatesattorney.org and you can follow Brian on facebook.