Networking can sometimes leave a bad taste in your mouth. Even the most extroverted of professionals have settings that they just aren't comfortable with. Walking up to someone and introducing yourself out of the blue can cause some unwanted stress.
Here are some tips to help you kick butt and (literally) take names at Cheektowaga Chamber Networking Events.
- Check things out beforehand
- Sometimes knowing who you're going to see and what company they represent can help! A few days before the event, ask a staff member to send you a list of confirmed attendees. If a few stick out, you can even email them beforehand to tell them you're excited to meet them. This gives you a conversation starting point.
- Buddy System
- Did you know all Cheektowaga Chamber events are open to all employees of a company? Bring a co-worker, or even a friend or spouse to help bridge any awkward introductions you might be worried about. You might get to know a co-worker on a different level!
- Ask for help
- Let a staff member know beforehand that you're apprehensive. That night, we'll make sure we introduce you to people we know you'd get along with. At all of our networking events, we have board members and staff members who can help you navigate networking.
Is networking just not your thing? This may come as a shock to you, but that's okay. The Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce has alternatives.
- Speed Networking: Remember speed dating? Well we've turned it into structured networking. Each June, we hold a speed networking event: a structured event where meeting professionals gets a little easier. Each pair gets 1-2 minutes to speak about their business and give that "elevator pitch". When time's up, one side moves to the next spot! You don't get stuck talking to someone with no way out. If you made an awesome connection, you'll get time during lunch to learn more.
- The Chamber Staff: The Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce Staff is here to help refer your business. Take a look through our online membership directory and pick some companies you'd like to connect with. We'll make that introduction email for you, turning a cold lead into a warm lead. One of the many membership "Perks while you Work".
Don't let the idea of networking scare you away. We offer two networking events a month: a morning educational networking opportunity and an evening after hours event. Let us know if you're interested and we'll help you get the most out of your networking experience.