Business Social Events: How to Make an Effective Entrance & Work the Room

May 14, 2015  |     |   0 Comment

man in brick roomWhen you attend a business social event, are you noticed when you enter a room?  Do you want to be noticed? Have you evaluated the kind of entrance that you make? Do you feel comfortable approaching new people and having conversations with them?

Many people believe that all they have to do is “show up” at an event and their presence will be known. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “80% of success is showing up.”  What this means to me is that there is 20% of hard work on my part to effectively and successfully make my presence known.  Otherwise, what’s the sense in showing up?

One of the most important features in showing up at a business social event IS the entrance you make.  This is simply because everyone watches the entrance to a room.  Humans are curious creatures.  It is therefore important that you give serious thought to evaluating the entrance you make given the fact that you WILL be noticed when you enter a room, whether you like it or not!

Here are eight tips to help you make an effective entrance and work the room at a business social event to ensure your success and make your presence known:

1.  Do your homework.  What is your purpose for attending the event? Is it simply to expand your network?  Is it to connect with a particular target market with whom you have been wanting to do business, gain industry knowledge, or learn about job opportunities?  Is it to increase your knowledge about what’s happening in your marketplace? Have an action plan or strategy before you go to the event, define your purpose, and stick to it.

2.  Brief yourself on the event.  Brief yourself on the events you expect to take place.  Visualize meeting strangers, making introductions and opening conversations.  Practice your “elevator pitch”, be prepared to ask questions and demonstrate a genuine interest with the people you will meet. Proper preparation and a positive mind-set lead to success.

3.  Decide whom you need to meet.  Always make your presence known to the host or hostess.  Do not monopolize his or her time.  In a small gathering, try to meet everyone and have a brief conversation.  If it is a large gathering, focus on the key people you want to meet.

4.  Take your time.  People who make a powerful entrance never rush into a room. Don’t make a dash for the food table or bar – it would be counter-productive to your purpose for attending the event.  Remember – you’re not there simply because you may be hungry or thirsty.  Once you enter the room, move to the right and pause.  This pause gives you the opportunity to spot key people, and to allow others to see you before you walk into the room.

5.  Be aware of your posture.  Your posture and how you carry yourself is very important when you enter a room.  Good posture instantly creates an impression of confidence and lets others see you in this way. A huge plus in the business arena.

6.  Join a conversation group.  Once you have spotted key people or “scoped the room”, decide whom you will approach to have your first conversation. If you have spotted key people, make your way over to them.  If not, approach a conversation group of at least three people who are standing closest to the entrance way to the room.  Move toward this group, wait for a pause in the conversation, and simply ask, “May I join you?”

7.  Shake hands.  When you enter into a conversation group, introduce yourself by using your first and last name, and shake hands with every person in that conversation group. Do not leave anyone out.  To leave a good first impression, your handshake should be firm but friendly  – no bone-crusher or limp-fish handshake.

8.  Make direct eye contact.  Good eye contact with those you meet is very important. Direct eye contact is vital in the business arena if you are to present yourself with confidence and authority. Appropriate eye contact also helps you to focus on the person with whom you are having a conversation.  It actually makes you a better listener and makes the person with whom you are speaking feel heard, valued and respected.

Remember your duties as a guest at a social business event – and that is to effectively represent yourself, your company or your business.  Applying these eight tips will help you to make an effective entrance and work the room at your next business social event so that you effectively and successfully make your presence known and are not just “showing up.”

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