Last night I visited the Overtime event in Maastricht, which was supposed to focus on social networking on a professional level. It turned out to be more of an event similar to a night out, but then for business people. I had been looking into the different ways of preparing myself for such an event, i.e. by reading a post like this. But preparation isn’t everything…
Of course I make use of a few other social networking tools, which reside in the cloud, i.e. LinkedIn.com. Through such a networking site it is easy to stay in touch with people you worked with, (ex)colleagues, classmates, etc. mainly focused on a professional level. Connecting on LinkedIn however is not quite the same as connecting on a social networking event, but the outcome at an event can be much higher than with only connecting with a former colleague or future business partner. Due to the fact that face to face meetings make a bigger impression, putting the positive or negative impression aside.
Remember your days at school where you had to present for the first time and the feeling of a whole classroom listening to you, was taking your breathe away… Compared to presenting this is more about approaching, connecting and trying to find a level of interest to get the conversation started, but I’m looking to improve this part of me. I know a few of my unexplored areas and I’m willing to improve this. I will continue to improve myself for these events and in the near future I will visit another similar event, hopefully more focused on social networking for professionals.
I think that just like with presenting for the 1st time, it starts with: Just do it!