As businesses navigate through new guidelines and online tools, it can be difficult to understand how to successfully network. On July 22, Aakash Patel, President and CEO of Elevate, Inc., spoke at a Webinar with the South Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce about networking in a new world.
Face-to-face networking is a space that many of us are familiar with. However, with in-person events starting up again, it is important to register on-time to ensure a spot, as events will be held with limited capacities. While attending these events, Aakash suggests always having a goal— such as meeting 10 new people. Due to a lack of business card circulation, it is important to create your own digital business card that can be emailed or messaged to those you network with. At events, all CDC social distancing and protection guidelines will be in-effect, so be sure to bring a mask. Aakash suggests that businesses can get their logo embroidered on their mask as a way to create brand recognition and distinguish themselves. For name tags, businesses can use a magnetic one that is reusable and can easily be attached to their clothing at each event. After using the name tag, it can be properly sanitized it and ready to use again.
Networking online might seem more difficult, as before COVID-19, most of us were more familiar with networking in-person. However, many still do not feel safe to attend in-person events, and would prefer to stay at home. With the help of platforms such as Zoom, WebEx, and Skype, it is possible to have successful virtual networking events. Conducting events online can help increase the number of guests who would have not been able to attend due to distance, other meetings, etc. Many events such as Webinars have utilized a breakout room during the event, so that participants can get broken up into smaller groups to make it easier to network. It is always important when attending virtual events to have your camera on and utilize the chat feature so that participants and the host can see that you are engaged.
Even if you are not attending an event, it is still possible to network virtually. Social media is an excellent resource for businesses to utilize, especially when there is a focus on engagement. Sharing articles, creating and using a business hashtag, and posting routinely are just a few suggestions Aakash makes for businesses to network on social media, while utilizing other posting resources such as Hootsuite to schedule posts.
Although these times are different, we should understand the importance of networking in many different forms, weather it be in-person events, virtual events, or on social media. While networking, it is always important to keep track of new additions to your network, and follow-up when appropriate. To learn more about Aakash Patel and his company Elevate Inc., visit https://www.elevate-inc.com/.
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This post was written by Elevate, Inc.