Must-Haves for Your Next Networking Event

Networking events can be exhausting experiences. Conversations carry with them the weight of potential career opportunities, and making a good first impression is key. But with these essential items at your fingertips, networking will become effortless. Events provide incredible opportunities to form new professional relationships, identify collaboration opportunities, and strengthen personal brands. But in order to navigate such gatherings successfully you need more than a stack of business cards. Here is your list of must-haves for your next networking event.

Business Cards Are A Classic Staple

Even in our digitally driven world, nothing compares to handing someone an impressive business card crafted to impress them and last an impression. No one wants to fumble around with their phone when exchanging contact information.

Why They Matter

A professional business card design demonstrates your attention to detail, making you stand out at events long after they end. Be sure yours includes essential contact info in a clean, modern design without Comic Sans.

Top Tips

  • Double-check for errors: Typos can devastate your credibility. Keep it simple: Provide only essentials like name, title, company, email, phone number and LinkedIn profile information. 
  • Premium Quality: Make your card stand out with thicker paper stock to give a truly outstanding card presentation.

Elevator Pitch: Your Verbal Business Card

A crisp and well-rehearsed elevator pitch can quickly draw people in with your engaging language and delivery. Your 30 second pitch should accurately represent who you are, what services you offer, and why people should care. Practice is key here as no one likes nervous or disjointed deliveries.

Why It Matters

A well-crafted elevator pitch can create a lasting first impression and start meaningful dialogues, as well as providing you with an effective method for meeting new people at networking events with limited time to spend on each person.

Crafting the Perfect Pitch

  • Keep it brief: Strive for clarity and conciseness in your pitch. 
  • Focus on what sets you apart
  • Rehearsal makes perfect: Practice enough times so it comes naturally over time.

Dress the Part

First impressions can often be visual, so dressing to suit any event’s setting is of the utmost importance. From business casual attire to full formal wear, try your best to look polished and professional when attending any gathering or ceremony.

Dress for Success

  • Know the dress code: Always err on the side of overdressed rather than underdressed. 
  • Comfort is key: Wear clothing that allows you to move freely. 
  • Attention to detail: Make sure your clothes are clean, wrinkle-free and fitting perfectly to ensure a successful presentation.

Digital Connection Tools: Leveraging Technology

Technology offers numerous networking advantages that digital tools can give your organization.

LinkedIn and Beyond

  • Bluetooth business cards for quick digital exchanges. 
  • LinkedIn app for making connections quickly: Scan QR codes instantly to make instantaneous connections. And followed up with prewritten follow-up messages sent automatically after new contacts join your network.

Engaging Conversation Starters to Break the Ice

Starting conversations among strangers can be intimidating. Use engaging conversation starters as an easy way to open meaningful dialogues.

Sample Starters 

  • Event-specific questions: “What brings you to this event?”
  • Industry perspectives: “What do you think about (latest industry trend)?” 
  • Personal but professional: “How did you first secure this role?”


Equipped with these tips, you are well prepared for success at any networking event. Remember, successful networking requires preparation and authenticity. Be yourself while showing genuine interest in others, so the connections made will be both meaningful and memorable.