Five Simple Steps to Up Your Networking Game
Public Relations isn’t solely what people read about you in the news – it’s more broadly your public persona – and that includes meeting people in actual real life. In this article and ahead of events season for African tech, ‘Lamide Johnson shares top tips for building yours, and a company’s brand, at events. Featured image credit: London Africa Community
In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, tech ecosystem events have emerged as powerful platforms for entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts to connect, collaborate, and unlock growth opportunities. These events foster an environment of innovation and knowledge exchange, making them an ideal space for forging valuable relationships and discovering new pathways for success.
In this blog post, we will delve deep into the art of networking at tech ecosystem events, equipping you with five proven strategies that we have found helpful in our many years of networking at tech events. These simple steps will prepare you to navigate these events confidently and leave a lasting impression.
Photo credit – London Africa Community
Set Clear Goals and Objectives
Before attending a tech ecosystem event, setting goals and objectives is essential. Ask yourself: “What do I hope to achieve?” Are you seeking potential investors, strategic partners, or industry insights? Or do you want to expand your network? Whatever it is, it will provide focus and purpose to your networking efforts, allowing you to make meaningful connections.
Do Your Research and Make a List
Conduct thorough research on the event, its speakers, and attendees to maximise networking opportunities. Identify key individuals, startups, investors or operators you’d like to connect with and learn about their work, achievements, and interests. This preparation will empower you to engage in meaningful conversations and demonstrate your genuine interest in their work, setting the stage for fruitful connections. If you want an engaging conversation, having many topics of mutual interest is ideal. Many people skimp on this step and cannot target their compelling stories to the best people in the room.
Craft a Compelling Story
Storytelling is a powerful tool for capturing attention and leaving a lasting impact. Develop a compelling narrative communicating your startup’s mission, value proposition, and unique differentiators. Tailor your story to resonate with the interests and goals of your target audience. A well-crafted story will ignite curiosity and draw people towards your vision, opening doors to potential partnerships and growth opportunities. This way, you’re prepared to seize the opportunities that you create. The stories should not only be about you, but they should also be about your product/people/process.
Be an Active Listener
Effective networking goes beyond talking about your own startup. Actively listen to others, and ask thoughtful questions. Engage in conversations that allow you to understand your industry’s challenges, trends, and opportunities. By being an active listener, you establish trust, build rapport, and create a foundation for future collaborations and partnerships. You can also recognise the best time in a conversation to plug in your ideas from a problem-solving perspective. Listening actively is a smart skill.
Follow-Up and Nurture Relationships
Nurturing relationships requires proactive follow-up and ongoing communication. After the event, promptly reach out to the connections you made. Personalise your follow-up messages, referencing specific discussions or shared interests. Stay in touch through periodic check-ins, sharing relevant industry insights or opportunities. Nurturing relationships establishes trust and reciprocity, leading to collaborative opportunities.
Tech ecosystem events hold immense potential for unlocking growth opportunities for your startup. By mastering the art of networking at these events, you can forge meaningful connections, gain valuable insights, and discover pathways for success. Set clear objectives, conduct thorough research, make a list of people to meet and craft a compelling story that resonates with your target audience. Be an active listener; remember, building lasting relationships requires ongoing effort and nurturing. Embrace the power of networking at tech ecosystem events, and watch as it propels your startup to new heights of growth. And if you see a Wimbart at your next event, do say hi.
Looking forward to connecting with you soon!