So, you’ve found yourself a Networking event which will reward you greatly for your efforts. One small challenge lies between you and glory… and that’s turning up!
If you are a little nervous about turning up late, or on your own. Then one way you could ensure you’re there on time, get some good connections and help support the event you’re attending then you could volunteer – help get things set up for the evening, greet people at the door, make sure sponsors are in the right places.
Where is it?
Familiarise yourself using Google Maps of where the event is being held.
Make use of the little orange person and get a street-level view of where you’re going. Knowing it’s the BIG RED DOOR is easier than knowing it’s Building 33A in a row of dozens!
It is also useful to get an indication of how long it will take to get there using the Directions Feature.
Plan your journey
I am a great fan of the Waze App – you can synchronise with your calendar and it will look up where the destination is, what the traffic is usually like and suggest a leaving time. You can also use it more ad-hoc to get a rough idea of knowing travel times, and best times to leave
If you are driving make sure there is somewhere for you to park, and that you can do for the whole duration of the event. You don’t want to find yourself mid-conversation and need to dash out to put more money on the meter!
Car Share – If you know others going to the same event, then it might be good to start networking early and share the cost of getting to your event. It might also help you keep on time if you’ve got others depending on you!
Do you need to bring any ID with you?
If it is in an Office Building, or somewhere with security make sure you have formal identification with you to save an embarrassing shuffle through your belongings to identify yourself.
Also, be aware that if it is a building with security that you may well be asked for a bag search.
Some events send you Tickets which will be scanned, the majority these days can be scanned straight from a Phone screen without the need to waste paper printing it.
Do you need a code to get in?
If you will be accessing a building yourself and have been given details, make sure they’re written down beforehand. If you’re stuck outside a building with no phone signal in the rain, you want to make sure that you aren’t hanging around too long!
Most of us are carrying incredibly useful Alarm clocks around in our pockets. They usually will synchronise with your calendar, but just in case. Make sure you add an alarm to give you plenty of time to get on your way
Work out who you are going to meet
It is worthwhile giving yourself some clue as to who to look out for when you get to your event. If it is in a public place such as a Bar and there are lots of groups – you want to end up with the right people!
The events registration page will likely show a list of candidates, take the time to familiarise yourself with their faces and names.
LinkedIn is a great resource to find out more information about the people you will meet. You could also take the opportunity to make a connection, introduce yourself to someone else and arrange to attend together. If you do this make sure you also spend time networking with others.
What happens if you can’t make it?
If you’re not going to be able to make the event, or you’re going to be late. Consider contacting the organiser out of courtesy, it will be appreciated and put you in better standing if you would like to attend at another time.