Making the Most of Networking in Boston

The Chamber hosts more than 100 events annually, from large speaker series to issue-based roundtables to free, open networking events. Each present unique chances to connect with a diverse segment of Greater Boston’s business community – including peers, colleagues, and potential new leads

But how can you make the most of these opportunities? No matter your industry, organization’s size, or own personal objectives, here are some universal tips for maximizing your reach at any Chamber program series:

  1. Be on time: It seems like common sense, but it’s key for maximizing the time you’re investing. For our event series, we build in a 30-minute networking session for a reason, which can be equally – if not even more – beneficial than the speaker itself. Every minute matters. Come early, and ready to interact with the dozens of others in the room.
  2. Grab an attendee list: This will be your roadmap for success. And it’s unique, as most event organizers don’t provide this level of visibility into other attendees. It’ll show who is attending, what industry they’re from, company sizes, and other information relevant to you. Pick one up when you first enter the door then put your highlighter to it, focusing on 5-10 individuals you think will most benefit you and your organization.
  3. Connect with a Chamber staff member: We’re here to introduce you to the room, make you comfortable in approaching others, and ensure you’re building the most meaningful personal connections. Use us as a resource in getting you started.
  4. Find a seat – but don’t sit down right away: You don’t want to limit the number of connections you make. Every minute matters, and sitting at the table alone will restrict you from meeting the right people. Get up, interact, and work the room. The contacts you’re looking for will be spread throughout. There’s plenty of time to sit down and meet those at your own table.
  5. Be personal: When you connect with someone, politely introduce yourself with a quick handshake. And don’t solely keep the conversation on business; it’s okay to share what you do, but just scratch the surface. Focus more on commonalities that will help you stand out more and leave a positive impression.
  6. Follow-up: Like any job interview, following-up after a networking event is a must. Wait until the afternoon, and send a quick, informal email to all those you met. And ditch the sales pitch; rather, use this as a forum to build on your initial connection . And it goes without saying, but use spell check. Any typo or error can damper that person’s impression of you.

 So what are you waiting for? Networking can only help you. Get your calendar out, check out some upcoming events, and get ready for your network to grow.