Let’s face it: sometimes small talk can be boring. It’s minimal conversation and exhausting talking to random people who you don’t necessarily care to be talking to. However, if you’re in the creative industry, this can’t be the case. It’s important to network in any industry simply to have contacts, references and just other people to bounce ideas off of. When going to events, there are a few things to keep in mind before striking up conversations:
1. It’s not small talk. Don’t think of networking as a series of small talk with random people. Be sure to have something relevant to say – nothing is more awkward than the infamous weather conversation or how cold the room is. Be the provoking, knowledgeable person you want to be.
2. Remember who you’re talking to. Remember everyone you meet. Now, this may be hard for some people, but forgetting someone’s name the same night you meet them can turn someone off immediately. What’s even more embarrassing is if you meet them again or call/email them from their business card and still get their name incorrect. Don’t be that person.
3. Come prepared. As stated before, have a few topics in mind when going to networking events, especially if the events are industry specific. Also, be sure to have business cards at the ready to hand to someone you’d like to keep in contact with. If you are running low on cards, keep a small notepad and pen in your bag or pocket to jot down your information.
Small talk is lame, but networking is not. Be yourself, be prepared, and dress to impress and you more than likely won’t have any problems!