Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Networking with FACE seminar

During the Confex, Alessandra Alonso, a consultant of 20 years conducted a seminar on networking. The main points that she wanted to convey were those of:
  • Learning & self-development
  • Relationship & business development
  • Effective communication
Alonso came up with the concept of Networking through FACE:


Focus is the key starting point to any networking. If you don't know what you want to achieve then how is someone going to be able to help you to do it?! Alonso outlines 6 main reasons that people network which helps to narrow down what you may be looking for:

Now obviously everyone is going to have a different approach to networking, some people can just turn up without much preparation and find out as well as inform people what they need to know. Most people, myself included however, will need some degree of planning. The first thing to do is make sure you know who you're talking to! There's no point talking to someone who works on set design about your problems with security for 20 minutes! Preparing an introduction for yourself can also help, although you may feel a bit silly saying it for the 20th time in the day. But by then it will seem natural and with your pre-planned objectives and a prepared list of questions, you will look extremely professional. Of course, everyone wants to work with professional people!

Next up is the approach. In short conversations, only 30% of how people will react to you is down to what you say! The other 70% is actually how it is said and how we look. These exhibitors are going to be seeing hundreds of people a day, the ones that stand out are going to be the ones who engage with them, looking enthusiastic and being passionate about what they're talking about.

Conversation is where the main work will be done. A simple list of do's and don'ts can cover this:

  • Be curious 
  • Be authentic 
  • Build rapport 
  • Look the part 
  • Actively listen 
  • Reach out to many 
  • Take Note 
  • Show appreciation


  • Use and Abuse 
  • Presume /dismiss people 
  • Go on about yourself 
  • Go into selling mode 
  • Ask without giving 
  • Forget your business cards 
  • Forget to thank people 
  • Lie – it’s a small world! 
For networking to be worthwhile, it never actually ends. If following the meeting you feel that the person is someone you can work with, which would be mutually beneficial, then follow it up!!! Stay in touch and review the outcomes so that both parties can be happy. 

Got any other networking tips? Write them down in the comments!

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