Networking can be defined as connecting as or operate with a network, interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts. Simply put, it’s all about meeting new people. And in the wedding business, it can be the key to a successful business.
Why is networking so beneficial?
We all like to do business with people we like and trust, and we constantly ask friends and family for recommendations, such as restaurants, things to do…We know them, we know what they like, and we trust their judgement. It’s exactly the same in all aspects of business.
If another supplier is contacted and they are asked to recommend a caterer, for instance, and the supplier has a good relationship with you, he/she will most likely recommend your services. Networking can help you meet people from different fields in the industry, grow your support network and it can help you make friends.
What do you want to take from the Networking Conference?
To get the maximum benefit, you need to decide what you want to achieve from networking. Do you want to meet people to collaborate with, find referral partners, do you just want to grow your business or are you looking for advice and support as well?
- Know that you are there to broaden your horizons and meet new people, not to make sales.
- Don’t be afraid to approach new people, they probably feel the same way you do.
- Avoid forcing your portfolio onto other suppliers. And don’t focus the conversation too much on what you do; be sure to ask people you meet to tell you about their business. You never know what you might have in common that could lead to a business relationship.
- We will send a list out a week before who is attending, so you know who will be there
- Be open minded
For the newbies
New suppliers should try to network with new wedding suppliers. Unlike seasoned professionals, newbies to the industry will be more willing to give you time and attention simply because they are in the same boat as you. Understand that established industry professionals are busiest during the height of wedding season (usually during spring/summer), so be patient. Don’t take it personally if they don’t get back to you right away.
- Do you know many people here?
- How long have you been in the industry?
- How is business?
After the event, don’t forget to follow up with the new people you met. You can do nothing and hope to see them again at the next event (and hopefully remember their names). Or you can follow up immediately and put in the time and effort to develop a new relationship.
See you there!