Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO MINGLE? 9 TIPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF EVENTS ...

For those of us who work in the social media landscape, we are always attending sumpin. But much too often, I see folks not taking full advantage of events and the visibility events lend (blame it on the social media strategist in me). But seriously, events can be a platform for you and one that you should maximize to the fullest in consideration of your own branding efforts. 
You are making the effort to attend so you should get a return, right? Right?

I can't wait until Saturday. Why? I have the privilege of hosting this Saturday's Nappy Hour presented by my own Stylist, Salih Watts and his staff at Loc Lov Styles. Click here for the full details from yesterday's post. This exclusive event targets Bloggers, Vloggers and Social Media Mavens. It will be an intimate affair featuring everything from live styling demos to give-a-ways and a lip and lash bar. But with all those features, having a good time and ensuring a return relies more on you then you might realize.  

Here are 9 tips to guarantee a return while getting your "mingle" on.

1. Bring more than enough business cards - Events are a platform for you to network so how can you get down to bizness with no cards??? I see it often. And if stuck on how to segue to passing a card to someone. Mingle up to someone and just say, "Nice to meet you, may I give you my card?"

2. Shake hands - When mingling, this makes an impression and leaves an impression. If the person doesn't extend their hand first, extend yours.

3. Smile - The best way to ensure that you are unapproachable, is to walk around an event mean mugging like you don't wanna be there. That's not mingling. And even if you don't wanna be there, fake it till it's over. But a smile goes a LOOOONG way. You are likely not the only one uncomfy. Some find it hard to be outgoing and sociable. But a smile is the best ice-breaker. Note: This applies if you're single too :-)

4. Make eye contact - Look at people directly as you are mingling and when you are talking to them. This shows genuine interest and again will make and leave a lasting impression.

5. Take pics - Oftentimes event pics are shared on multiple platforms so as you mingle take pics even if just of the layout and the aesthetics, take selfies, photobomb if you have to. And post them. Don't go home with umpteen pictures that you never post. Posting those pics lends visibility to the event and you too. And it will show your followers that you know how to get your mingle on.

6. Engage - It's one thing to be in attendance but another to be present. Walk around aka, mingle, smile, say hello, ask questions. If live tweeting and posting, use hashtags to draw attention to your presence at the event and solicit engagement. Ask for people's handles and tag them in pics. They are more inclined to follow you back.

7. Mingle - Attending events can be uncomfy for some especially if attending alone. But you'd be surprised that one of the best ways to get into the mix, is to "mingle." Mingle is defined; to move freely around a place or at a social function, associating with others. Don't just sit all by your lonesome. Challenge yourself to walk around and before you know it, you will strike up a conversation and make a new friend.

8. Don't just leave - I see this all the time. Upon conclusion of the event and once you've gotten your mingle on, don't just duck out. Circle back around and say bye to anyone you might've met for the first time. They are more likely to remember you. Thank whomever was behind the event and provide them feedback. What did you like about the event, etc. And this can be done even if you have to leave early. People will love and notice that you made the effort to both mingle and say bye.

9. Follow-up - The most critical. No more than a day or two later, follow-up with those you met and mingled with, connect with them via social media, follow them and email them. This is the most effective way to ensure you stay on their radar and who knows what opportunities that may facilitate.
Do you have any mingling tips of your own to ensure you get the most out of events?
and
I hope to see you Saturday. If you haven't already RSVP'ed to Saturday's Nappy Hour, click here for the event link.

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