Networking isn’t easy at the best of times, but it’s even more difficult when you haven’t even been to the event. Trust us.
From boring co-workers to awkward network introductions, there are so many things to hate about networking, but it needn’t be so.
Instead, check out these five ways to network at an event you didn’t even attend. This way, you can lie on the sofa watching TV instead of giving out business cards on a rainy weekday evening. What an easy route to success!
1. Put your ear to the grapevine
It’s pretty easy to pick up what happened the night before in the office. Just don’t put headphones on, and maybe offer to make the company blabbermouth a coffee in the kitchen. You’ll learn all you could possibly want to know.
Use the fact that the event actually happened as an excuse to contact older acquaintances you know were there.
A quick catch-up with your opposite number in a rival company is a perfect way to do a little sneaky networking on the side.
3. Do your research
Much of what actually happens on the night is predictable if you just do your homework on the event.
Check out the Facebook event (business types love a good social media invite), read up on the hourly schedule and even follow a few of the speakers programmed in.
If you didn’t get to meet the person you wanted to at the event (because you were busy at home doing nothing) then send them a quick LinkedIn request online.
You can specify the event as a reason for sending the request (it doesn’t matter if you didn’t actually go) and then explain you think it was a real shame you couldn’t be there for a chat and organise a work date further down the line. Bingo!
5. Record, record, record
Grab yourself a cheap audio recorder and call in that favour from your best work bud. There’s no need to do this for the whole event mind. The only important part you’ll need is the main speaker.
You can listen on the bus to work the next day and send a few well-informed introductory emails to the people you really wanted to meet in the morning. You know it makes sense.