5 Do’s at Sports Networking Events

Posted: August 24, 2011 in Networking
Tags: , , , ,

I am excited to attend tonight’s networking event hosted by The Business of Sports. It will be held at Slattery’s Midtown Pub in New York City from 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. This is the perfect way to cap off my summer before I head back to Georgetown for my senior year. Sports networking events are not completely new to me. I have attended the Sports Events Marketing Experience (SEME) as well as another sports networking event at the Verizon Center, both earlier this year. Based on my experiences and what I have read about networking, here are 5 Do’s when attending these types of events.

Do’s

1. Bring business cards – Sports business professionals in attendance are bound to bring a stack of cards. While you can certainly get someone else’s business card, it is definitely impressive to bring your own. This is a great way for you to differentiate yourself from other students trying to make connections. It will increase your chances of being remembered when you follow-up with a contact via email after the event.

2. Be interested – When you talk to people in the business, take a genuine interest in what they are saying. They could potentially be the person to get your foot in the door some day. Make sure you look them in the eye and smile while they are talking to you. Listen actively, and try to relate their experiences to yours. Show them that you care.

3. Be yourself – There is nothing worse than acting like someone you are not at one of these events. Be honest when answering questions and informing others about your background. No one likes a liar. If you try talking to someone and it does not go so well, it is not the end of the world. Move on to the next person and learn from your mistakes. The more you practice networking, the better you will become at it.

4. Make your personal brand known – Before going in to one of these networking events, think of a few points about yourself that you would like to get across to each person you meet. You could talk about skills, interests, experience, etc. Be careful not to brag about your past, but make sure the person you speak to understands what makes you tick.

5. Follow-Up – This is what I like to call the X Factor. Getting a sports business professional’s business card is great. However, having that person’s contact information is essentially meaningless if you do not take advantage of it rather quickly. If you feel like you had even a slight connection with someone you met, be sure to send them a polite follow-up email the next day. If your interaction went really well, a personalized handwritten note might blow that person away. In your message, it is a good idea to mention a few of the things you conversed about with that particular person, particularly something that you learned. Ask them if it is okay if you check in with them every now and then. If they are okay with that and you plan to follow through on your request, give yourself a pat on the back. You have now added someone to your network!

If anyone reading this post will be attending tonight’s event and wants to connect, send an email to mjr89(at)georgetown.edu or tweet @LifeofRiley29.

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