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How can I network at English-speaking events?

Networking at events is a modern way of socialising in a professional setting. It is a great way to meet new people, make connections, build your professional network, and grow your career. But, when English isn't your first language, networking at events in English can seem like a challenging thing to do. You may feel nervous about meeting new people and making mistakes when you speak. However, with English Path, you can prepare yourself and build your confidence for English-speaking events. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere, and with practice, you can become a pro at networking in English. So, let's get started and prepare you for your next event! 

Like many good things in life, preparing for networking at events comes in three stages. These steps can help you make good connections and leave a positive impression on people you meet. To network effectively at English-speaking events, focus on the following three stages. 

  1. Preparing before networking events
  2. Making a to-do-list for networking at English-speaking events
  3. Post-networking event checklist

Preparing before networking at events

It's a good idea to prepare before attending English-speaking events. This way, you can speak confidently and connect better with others. The following tips can help you prepare for networking events.

  • Set clear and realistic goals: Whether it's improving your communication skills or making professional connections, having clear goals will help you focus on what matters most to you.
  • Research the event and the people: Find out who will be there and what the topic is. Write down the important questions related to key people or topics so that you can ask about them at the event.
  • Prepare a simple introduction: Spend 10 minutes each day practising basic introductions. Start with saying hello and introducing yourself by sharing your name, country, and why you are there. Then, ask a simple question to keep the conversation going.
  • Build your vocabulary: While it's okay to use basic English, learning new words can make networking at events more interesting. Learn new words and practise using them in conversations with your friends or family.

Making a to-do list for networking at English-speaking events

Networking at events means taking charge and creating opportunities for yourself with a smile! Our following to-do list can give you some useful hints and help you to make connections at English-speaking events. If you feel nervous, remember that everyone was a beginner once!

  • Don't wait for others to come to you: Starting a conversation can be challenging, but it's also important in networking. Reach out to others and start with simple questions like, "How are you?" or "What brings you to this event?" to begin conversations.
  • Be open and respectful to other cultures: People from different cultures and backgrounds attend networking events. It's important to keep an open mind and respect each other's customs and traditions. This is a great opportunity to expand your understanding and learn new things.
  • Listen to what others are saying: When networking at events, practise active listening. Pay attention to what others are saying and ask questions to show that you are interested in the conversation. It can also help you to learn new words and build your vocabulary.
  • Body language is your best friend: Remember that your body language can speak louder than words. It's important to show that you're interested and engaged in the conversation by smiling, nodding, and maintaining eye contact.
  • Be positive: At networking events, people are naturally drawn to friendly and upbeat people. So, if you send out a positive vibe, it is more likely that people will want to talk to you.
  • Learn to make small talk at events: Don't overthink it! You can start by talking about general things, like the weather, the food or the event itself! Remember, small talk is just a way to break the ice and connect with others, so don't worry too much about being perfect. Just be yourself and have fun networking!
  • Exchange contact information: If you feel like you are connecting with someone, don't be afraid to exchange contact information. You could ask for their email or suggest connecting on social media apps like LinkedIn. Remember, networking at events is about more than just the event itself. It is also about building relationships following the event.

Post-networking event checklist

Networking at the event doesn't stop when the event does. Now, it's up to you to reach out to the people you met and keep in touch. This lets them know that you appreciated meeting them and want to continue the conversation.

  • Connect online: Follow up with your new connections on LinkedIn or social media. Send a short message saying it was nice to meet them.
  • Practise makes perfect: Think about what went well and what you can do to improve next time. Maybe try a new question or work on your pronunciation skills. Every event is a chance to polish your skills and start anew!
  • Networking is a skill: Anyone can learn how to network and don't worry if English is not your first language. Just prepare, be confident, and follow our tips to attend English-speaking events like a pro!

Remember, it takes time to build your networking skills, and these tips can help you get better. So, step out of your comfort zone, attend English-speaking events, and let your networking journey begin! If you want to take your skills to the next level, join English Path! We are here to support you and help you improve your English language skills every step of the way. Happy networking!

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about networking at events

A1. Think of networking like making friends in the professional world. At events, it's talking to people about your work and learning about theirs and making connections that might help you later in your career. 

A2. Remember to bring your business cards, a notepad, and a pen with you. This will help you to quickly share your contact details and take notes during networking events.  

A3. Yes, it's absolutely fine! Politely wait for an opening in the conversation, and then introduce yourself. Most people at networking events are open to meeting new people and expanding their network. 

A4. Focus on your skills, things you are interested in your future plans. You can discuss the classes you've taken, projects you've worked on, or volunteer work you may have done. People like it when you're excited and willing to learn. 

A45. Focus on your skills, things you are interested in your future plans. You can discuss the classes you've taken, projects you've worked on, or volunteer work you may have done. People like it when you're excited and willing to learn.