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Business networking is essential for leveraging your business and personal connections, if you do it right.

But let’s face it, after shaking a lot of hands, hearing a lot of pitches and taking a lot of business cards, we’ve all left a function thinking ‘what have I gained from that experience?’.

Most people attend networking events to gain something: job leads, referrals, exposure, connections, opportunities to grow their business.

But having organised thousands of networking events, we’ve seen plenty of these people leave disappointed.

Don’t get us wrong, we’ve also seen the opposite. We’ve seen people walk out with a handful of business cards feeling happy, inspired and excited.

The major difference between these two groups of people is this: the people who leave on a high note are those who attend with just one goal in mind; to figure out how they can help others in the room.

True networking occurs when there’s an understanding that everyone in the room has equal value. In its purest form, it’s about people enjoying other people, communicating passions and connecting with others who share those passions.

It’s about listening, figuring out what others need and connecting them with people you think can help.

The most successful networkers build genuine relationships and give more than they receive. They go beyond thinking, “What’s in it for me?” to ask “How can I help?”

This is exactly what our Global Meetup is all about.

To be successful in your approach to networking, there are a few things you should remember

1. Have a plan

Since every person has value, it’s essential that you know what yours is. Before you attend any networking event, get clear on what talents, strengths, skill sets and connections you can bring to the table. Map out what you want to talk about, particularly how you may be able to help other people, either now or in the future.

2. Forget your personal agenda

While you may be tempted to network just to land a job or talk to people you normally wouldn’t have access to, that’s a mistake. Instead, make it your goal to be open, friendly and honest, and to forge connections between people who may be able to help each other. Generosity is an attractive quality and it’s something special that people will remember about you.

3. Never dismiss anyone

Make it your mission to discover the value in each person you talk to. Ask questions and listen with interest. Don’t make the mistake of discounting people due to their titles. Someone you meet may “just” be a clerk, but they may have valuable connections or knowledge you’d never learn about if you’d dismissed them.

Then, when the conversation ends, remember what that person has to offer as you move to the next.

4. Connect the dots

Once you begin to listen to people and learn what they can bring to the table, you’ll start realizing how one person in the room may be able to help another. Make it a point to connect people you feel have something of genuine value to each other. When you go out of your way to make those potentially promising connections, you’re doing your part to make the networking event a success.

We can’t wait to connect with you all at Global Meetup 2018.

Don’t forget, tickets are invite only. Tell us why you deserve a place.