Networking Beyond Mixers

August 21, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton

We’ve allllll been there; we want to make connections and create meaningful relationships within our industry, but we don’t know where to start. So we go to mixers and various networking events.

If you’re new to business, you’re probably feeling a whole lot of anxiety and nervousness before walking into that mixer. If mixers aren’t your cup of tea, that’s ok! There are other ways to make long lasting meaningful connections that go beyond handing out your business card.

  1. Attend seminars:
    Seminars are a great alternative to mixers because not only are you going to be learning valuable information, but you will also have common ground with other attendees.  The sense of being seated and everyone listening to the same seminar sometimes helps ease anxieties.  Many times, these seminars have pre functions or breaks where you can correctly engage someone in a non-threatening and non-networking type of situation. Don’t be afraid to talk to people at these types of events, after all, you’re all there for the same reason.
  2. Invite potential contacts to coffee or lunch: This is a great way to have some one on one time with a potential colleague or client.  Many times it may take some persistence to get to the right person and to coordinate schedules.  But by far, I have seen more long lasting relationships over coffee than anything else.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for networking events.  Sometimes, networking events will get you the first opportunity to engage your potential colleague or client.  However, coffee or lunch allows you that individual attention to ask and listen.
  3.  Attend like-minded contact’s events (but only if they are open to the public!): Let’s say you already have a contact that you have created a relationship with. Consider going to one of their events not only foster that relationship and keep it strong, but meet some of their contacts as well. You have a common relationship, and are involved in the same industry. People are more likely to network with you if you are connected with them through mutual party!
Stephen J Clayton Stephen J Clayton (22 Posts)

Steve Clayton has been working with event professionals for over 16 years teaching, mentoring and consulting with them to help them get more out of their event business. Originally beginning his event career as a mobile entertainer, DJ, and manager, Steve has transformed his business into a full service event management and production company. His companies specialize in full service production, technology, consulting, and talent buying. Over the past 13 years, Steve’s companies have worked with clients such as the Rose Bowl, USC Football, The Holiday Bowl, Time Warner Cable, Hyatt Hotels, Chalice Festival, High Times, and The Neighborhood Awards. Steve and his team have been blessed to work and handle major talent artists. Steve has worked or purchased talent from Lo Cash and Frakie Ballard to Comedians Steve Harvey, and Wayans Brothers. And rappers from Dougie Fresh, B.O.B and Robin Thicke to Lil Wayne, Wu Tang Clan and Machine Gun Kelly. Steve has owned companies manufacturing and selling lighting products to companies to writing and teaching classes for University of San Diego. Steve’s current companies include Soundskilz and The Event Inventor. Steve currently teaches event management, marketing and technology classes at UC Riverside.

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