MagnetsOne way to get people to remember your name/concept/brand is to provide them with a magnet to take home with them to stick on the fridge. Everybody loves to get something for nothing and we all love a fridge magnet. Get creative and design a really cool funky design that will get their attention when they look at it, and remind them what a cool product that you have. A fridge magnet will have you stuck in their mind the next time they need their fridge fixed/car repaired/advice whatever your product may be, a magnet is a great networking idea for your next event, and it won’t cost you the earth!
Ball and a SharpieThis would have to be the most interesting and innovative networking idea that I have ever heard of. Getting out of your seat and talking to people is the most effective way of working a room at a networking event and sometimes all we need is a reason to break the ice to get the ball rolling. One creative networker took a ball and a sharpie pen to an event and went around the room getting everyone to sign the ball. On his rounds he managed to meet nearly everyone in the room and everyone was interested in their turn to sign the ball and have a chat with this interesting character. It’s unique, memorable and will get everyone talking!
Plan AheadIf you are holding a networking event yourself then there are few factors that you need to think about to ensure that it is a success. One is to make it in an easily accessable location that will get the numbers. If its in the middle of nowhere people may not make the effort to come along, but if they can get there easily and it fits in with their schedule they will be more likely to come along. Make it structured but flowing and provide space to allow people to meet each other and interact. Provide food! The best way to get people relaxed and talking is at the coffee/tea table, or over a plate of snacks. Food relaxes people and will help them to open up easily and get talking.
Business CardsHaving a great business card is essential for optimal networking. You may have the gift of the gab and be able to engage anyone to take an interest in you and your story, but you need to be the complete package and be prepared when they want to take you up on the offer of networking after the event has finished. Scrawling your phone number on a scrap of paper could let you down and leave them thinking that you don’t take yourself seriously, which could damage your chances of taking it further. Get a great business card and give it out!
Promotional MaterialsThis is up there with having a great business card and is a must for the innovative networker. Giving them a taste of what you are doing will ensure that they remember you and will take the time to look you up in the future.
~Written by Jasmine Poole