How to Maximize Industry Luncheons

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Many of us attend various industry luncheons on a regular basis.  It’s often a great opportunity to reconnect with contacts, meet new people and stay abreast of the particular industry’s current events.

For the right groups, it’s also fertile ground for new business development.   Having the opportunity to discuss agency capabilities in an informal, elevator-speech type environment can be invaluable in the new business process.

Here are some tips to make sure you maximize the industry, networking or association luncheons you attend:

  • Be sure to have enough business cards. There’s nothing worse than having someone ask for a business card and your response is, “I’m all out of them.”  It’s a lost opportunity.
  • And on that note, collect as many business cards as you can. If you need help remembering who is who, write yourself a note on the back of each card to help you keep your new contact straight: “Grey hair, blue jacket. Enjoys baseball.”
  • Arrive early. Greeting or meeting people when they first enter the room helps fill an awkward void of “I’m standing here all alone.”
  • Don’t get stuck with the same person. Do your best to mix and mingle with a variety of people or small groups.
  • If you are attending the event with a co-worker, DO NOT sit at the same table. You see your co-workers all the time.  You are at the event to network with and meet new people.  Don’t limit yourself.
  • After the meeting, send an e-mail to each of the people you met. It can be as simple as “It was nice meeting you at the XXX event.  I look forward to seeing you at another event soon.”  It is even better is to include a reference to something you talked about.  For example, “Was nice meeting you at the XXX event.  Best of luck on ‘the project’ you are working on.”

Do you have any other tips that can help maximize the effectiveness and productivity of attending networking and industry events?

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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