Don’t Carry Excess Baggage to Networking Events

At a networking event—in a roomful of people you are probably meeting for the first time—the last thing you need is to be weighed down by a large purse or briefcase. Make sure you can maneuver easily. Put your business cards in an easy-to-reach place and bring plenty. Plan out ahead of time where you will put the business cards you receive.

Look at each person’s card before you store it away. A business card is an extension of the person, and should be treated with respect. If you’ve offered to send them something, said you’d call, or discussed something of interest, you might make a note on the back of their card so you don’t forget. You also want to remember to contact the correct person about the particular topic you spoke about. There is nothing more embarrassing than contacting someone when you think they are someone else. It is also very difficult—sometimes impossible—to recover from that particular networking faux pas.

In addition, do not talk about problems at home or at work. A networking event is not a free therapy session. People do not want to be weighed down with your problems—they have enough going on in their own lives. Keep the conversation topics light, positive, and upbeat.