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The 12 Steps of Networking

You’ve heard about the 12 days of Christmas, well how about the 12 steps of networking?

With our Members’ Christmas Meetup right around the corner, I thought it would be a great opportunity to discuss how you can make the most of it by sharing some top tips!

Let’s start with one of my favourite words: serendipity - the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. I’m sure for most of us, an important conversation that has led to great and wonderful things has happened after work hours. People are relaxed and often more open to new ideas! If you look at the meetup as a chance to make friends and enjoy yourself, then all that networking pressure is taken away. And then if you happen to walk away with some new knowledge, advice, leads or contacts, well that’s just a bonus 😊

So, as you walk into the room with a big smile on your face, keep in mind these 12 steps of networking...

1. Let people know you’re going to be there 

Talk about it on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc using #WiredBrighton and tagging us @WiredSussex. By letting people know you’re coming and the types of businesses you’re looking to connect with, you’ll make yourself super approachable on the night.

2. Check out who else is going 

Think about who you’d really like to meet and do some research. With a bit of preparation, you’re sure to take the night in your stride - Find out who else is coming to the meetup here so you can get an idea of the people you might like to speak to. 

3. Don’t panic if you don’t know anyone

That’s what your trusty Wired Sussex team are here for! Come and find one of us (we’ll have the bright pink lanyards on) and we’ll do our best to facilitate an introduction. Whether you’re looking to chat to a specific person or someone with a certain set of skills, we’ll be happy to help.

4. Bring your colleagues along

The more colleagues you come along with, the more opportunities there’ll be to make some business connections. Make sure you share the Eventbrite page with them so they can sign up!

5. Chat to us about projects that could benefit your business 

Did you know we’ve just launched a 5G Brighton testbed which helps businesses test digital product and service ideas on a high-speed network? Or that we have an Innovation Connect Programme which connects our members with University expertise to solve their business challenges - otherwise known as *The Tinder for Academics* 😉

6. Collaboration is key

Don’t be afraid to share knowledge and information. Collaboration is a real strength in the industry and loads of our members have skills, knowledge and/or experiences that can benefit others.  

7. Introduce people 

You may already know a few people in the room so why not add value to the event by helping introduce others! You then get the joy of watching those brand-new connections blossom 🌼

8. Get yourself in the photobooth 

The ideal occasion to capture that all-important staff Christmas photo. It’s also a great way to meet new people – any awkwardness goes out the window when you’re wearing an elf hat! Check out some of the fun snaps taken at last year’s Christmas meetup.

9. Talk to people you don’t know 

When you’ve come with friends or colleagues, it’s really easy to end up sticking together and not push yourself to chat to someone new. Remember that with each new person you speak to, you’re opening up a whole new world of opportunities - even that quick chat at the bar could lead to a new project!

10. Bring business cards 

There’s nothing better than a good old-fashioned business card to make sure you don’t lose those contacts. You could even bring a marker pen to note what you chatted about on the back of the card.

11. Follow up 

Drop them an email and put those plans into action for that great collaboration you came up with.

12. Finally, let your hair down and have a good time 

It’s a great chance to celebrate the end of the year and hang out with others in the sector 😊

If you haven’t already, you can sign up to our Members’ Christmas Meetup here. It’s our last big event of the year with an average of over 150 members joining in the festivities, so come along on Tuesday 11th December, 5:30-11pm at Patterns.  

There are also loads of other great creative, digital, media and tech events happening in the Brighton and Sussex area. Check out our events calendar and sign up for event alert emails to stay in the know.

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