by Sarah Khogyani
If you are an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, building your product is only half the battle. Networking is equally, if not more, essential to the success of your business. Whether you are looking for a co-founder, developer, partner, investor, or mentor, you can find what you need in the Valley. The best part is, everyone looking to network will convene in one place for similar goals.
It’s important to know the ins and outs of networking events and how to most efficiently ‘schmooze’. We’ll guide you through the preparations, the main event, and follow up procedures.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Before you commit to anything, make sure you know what your goals are. Do you want to expand your network or inform your network? Are you looking for a job, a co-founder, investment or simply just advice? Establishing your objectives will be the best way to streamline your efforts and help you land a second date.
This is where your research skills come into full play. Look up events most relevant to your goals. If you’re interested in startups, Meetup.com is one of the best sites for finding networking events.
Once you know where you’re going, find out who will be attending. Think about who you want to meet. Google some information about them and their companies in order to have better conversations. Don’t forget your business cards!
WORK THE ROOM
So you’ve done your research, and you’re ready to work your stuff. Be ready for a night of movement and enjoyable conversation. If you’re going with a partner, remember to divide and conquer.
FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP
Following up is the most important step for reaching your objectives. Organize your contacts and business cards by group-- second dates, emails, and database archives. Always be sure to email each contact with a short follow-up note, expressing your intentions of working with them in the future. "Pleasant persistence is key", and following up that night will distinguish you from all the other people they meet.
Source: Perkins Coie Internal—“Working the Room”. This article is written by Sarah Khogyani, who handles marketing and PR for StartupMonthly. Resources are provided by Perkins Coie. StartupMonthly is a global entrepreneurial eco-system, offering a variety of resources to early-stage startup companies. Be sure to subscribe to our Facebook, newsletter, and Meetup page for more information on tech-industry offers and events.
Startup Monthly Team includes Software Architects, UX Designers, Legal, Financial, Lean Startup experts, Serial Entrepreneurs and Industry experts