How many times have you gone to a networking event only to chat and mingle with people you already know?  As a business owner or executive, it is important to take advantage of your networking opportunities. Networking events can offer you the chance to solidify a business relationship, create a new connection, develop potential strategic partners, increase exposure for your business, create new business opportunities for you personally or your business. There are a multitude of things that can be accomplished at a networking event.

Being intentional with your networking opportunities is essential to make the most out of the event and your time.    Take a moment and determine what your overall goals for the event are. Is it to solidify a business relationship, create new business opportunities for your company, etc…?  Each networking opportunity should be approached individually with your own goals and take-aways for the event.

Once you determine your overall goal(s) for the networking opportunity, it is important to consider what you need to take advantage of the networking event.  Do you need a mutual friend to make an introduction during the event, should you complete some due diligence prior to be knowledgeable about a topic, business or person?

Taking full advantage of networking opportunities requires pre-planning but in the end, you will find that the added effort will help you take full advantage of your time and increase your overall networking results.