Getting Ready for the KPUMA Mixer – Some tips to Networking for the Future

KPU Marketing Association Marketing Mixer

Whether it’s a professional business event or an informal speaker series networking will be apart of your everyday life. There are numerous factors that come into play in order to stand out amongst mediocre.

Wearing the wrong color of belt? That outfit might look a little off.

You’ve showed up 30 minutes late? So does delivery pizza.

To look like the confident and ambitious professional job suitor you are, there are a few things you should know before attending any type of business event. Below is a basic guide in preparing yourself for our upcoming marketing mixer.

Lead Up

With over 10 firms in attendance it’s important to know a little background information on each company. Think of the event as a midterm or final, you wouldn’t show up without first studying the material, this goes for the firms attending. You’ll want to know if Snaptech is a digital marketing agency or more orientated towards traditional mediums.

Take a look at their past history, current customers, about us page and even their team page. Look for potential attendees and know a little about their background. Listed below is a list of the discussion topics that will be rotated through. Try to become familiar with them. Write out a few discussion questions and develop an opinion on each topic with point backing up your statements.

Always dress appropriately. You’re thinking of wearing your high-tops and nicest Supreme t-shirt…. Don’t. Know the dress code and dress appropriately. Ensure your hygiene is up to social standards. Easy on the cologne, clean-shaven, and ensure you’re freshly showered.

Writing your name, telephone number, and email address five times while continually conversing with your new acquaintance might look a little unprofessional. Look into getting business cards.

Try and create an “elevator speech”. What’s your name? What are some common interests or hobbies? Are you with a company? A school? What program are you taking? What year? What are you thinking of specializing in? While it can sound robotic, it’s something that can be relied on as a plan b for approaches/introduction.

#KPUMAmixer

The event starts at 11:00 A.M in the Surrey Conference center. A good rule of thumb is to show up 15 minutes early. Grab a coffee and start connecting with those already there. Be sure not to cluster in groups of students – don’t be shy! Don’t show up late, punctuality is a reflection on you.

When introducing yourself and in conversation, be genuine. The last thing you want is to come off as fake or overselling yourself. Actually listen and provide thoughtful responses to whomever you’re speaking with. Don’t leave networking to chance, break down any social barriers you may have and start putting yourself out there. Remember you’re there to socialize. Everyone is open to making new connections; it’s easier than meeting people at a music festival.

Ask questions, it shows you’re inherently interested. People love to talk about themselves. Know when to move on from the conversation, trust me you’ll know. Depending on degree of “connectiveness” you had with that individual, you may want to offer your business card. Don’t treat your business card as a discount coupon.

Discussion Topics – come prepared to talk about these

  1. Apple Watch
  2. Experiential Marketing
  3. Big Data – Usefulness vs. Invasive
  4. Mobile Advertising
  5. Online Privacy – security breaches
  6. Exploiting Sentiments – when is a brand paying tribute vs when are they exploiting an opportunity
  7. How do you prepare yourself for entering the professional realm?

Organizations Attending – do some research on their background

  • DDB
  • Snaptech
  • Kirk Marketing
  • Jelly Marketing
  • Village&Co.
  • Studio Think
  • Great Little Box Company
  • Captus Advertising
  • West 4th BIA
  • Cloudburst
  • Flip Digital

Follow up and Maintenance

A basic rule is to give first and expect nothing. Reach out to those who were receptive towards you in conversation. Send them out an email or a LinkedIn invitation for a coffee meet up or informational interview. Remember the power of one connection can open up 50 doors, don’t undervalue them.

Conclusion

There are numerous reasons to start networking, especially when you’re still in school. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first year student. Those three years will go by quick. There’s nothing worse than graduating without the slightest idea of your career direction or any support when entering the professional world.

Currently one in four professional don’t network at all. Don’t be a part of that 25% statistic. You’ll be ahead of the curve, perhaps with career advancement, expanded knowledge or a new professional outlook.

 

 

 

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