3 Tips To Networking

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

With the London Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, London Fashion Week and many more events coming up in the coming weeks I thought I would give you some tips on networking that I have learnt.

We have all been in that situation where we see someone that we want to talk to and introduce ourselves to and I have definitely for one not always been good at the whole networking thing.

Networking is very important however, and if I can share a few tips I have learnt to help you then this is exactly what I am going to do. So at that next event you can make the connection you want and make the correct impression you deserve.

So here are my top three tips to networking:

1) THE APPROACH. This is all about timing. Make sure you only approach when it looks like a good opportunity to do so. There is nothing worse than having someone come up to you when you are mid conversation about a family illness and being asked about your latest film project. I always find a good moment to approach someone and start a conversation is at the bar. So be there often. Don't drink often but buy a coke in-between alcohol beverages as you don't want to come across drunk. Open the conversation up by asking there view on the event you are both at. For example at a premiere 'so did you enjoy the film'? As simple as that. Then let conversation flow.

2) THE ART OF CONVERSATION. Before the approach it is hugely important to know who you are talking to. Don't walk up to a director or casting director and say 'oh so what do you do'? If you don't know them then don't start the conversation. Let them talk to you. If you do know them then there is nothing better than a little bit of praise. Not too much as you don't want to look like a kiss ass, but saying you loved their work on blah blah because of blah blah is perfect, then move on. Always know why you want to talk to that person in an event situation. Whether you are just chatting as you are both in the same circle or you want to get in on the next film they are directing, know the reason. This will ultimately lead your conversation but don't let it seem desperate. If you have a card hand it over and say I would love to work with you on that, then just move the conversation on to a more informal conversation. Doing this will make you more rememberable and make the person you are talking to feel more comfortable.

3) THE ENDING. Don't be that person that hangs around all night. Say hello to the people you need to, introduce yourself to the people you want to, then walk away. This is why business cards are so important. If they have your details and they are interested in you then they will connect you. If you have been given their card, a great way to connect further is the next day send an email saying 'Was a pleasure to meet you last night, hope you had a great day and I look forward to seeing you again soon'. Don't ramble on about how much you want to be in their next film again, they know. Remember as well, that they may have friends and family at the event too, so once you have said hello and chatted for a bit, leave the conversation, let them have a good night and network too. A great way to do this is to say 'was great chatting to you, I am going to see who else is about so maybe see you later'. Then leave and move on.

Taking these three steps with you to the next event you are at will drastically help you work the room in the correct way. I have learnt this by doing it myself and having people do it to me. You respect them a lot more. And remember it is better to leave someone wanting more than being bored and irritated by you.

Get those business cards ready, the festival season is upon us.

Have you got any other tips?


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