Networking Tools – How to Secure Event Success

WRITTEN May 15, 2024 Author: Jen Glantz

Navigating a networking event effectively is vital for personal growth and professional achievement. These gatherings are platforms for honing networking skills and fostering meaningful connections. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting your career journey, coming prepared with a plan will greatly boost your experience and development.

How do you squeeze the most out of a networking opportunity?

Make sure that you depart with more than just a full stomach from the complimentary refreshments. Have a plan. Go prepared. Don’t leave until you’ve met your goals.

Here is a networking tool guide that can help you with the preparation, goal setting, and effective follow-up strategies for maximizing your networking experience:

PURPOSE – Why are you there?

Before stepping foot in the venue, take a moment to define your goals. What do you aim to accomplish? Clearly outlining your objectives will provide purpose and direction to your time at the event. Whether you seek to expand your network, seek career guidance, or explore potential collaborations, understanding your goals will help you maximize every interaction. Having well-defined goals will help you stay focused and avoid aimless wandering during the event.

Goals to consider:
1. Meet 10 new people and exchange contact information with them.
2. Find three ways to share your expertise and help three different people.
3. Learn about two new resources that can help you stay up-to-date in your industry.


Come prepared. Put together a set of questions to keep conversations engaging and flowing. Create around 10 questions that are both relevant and interesting. You can mix and match the ones you use based on who you are chatting with.

These questions are to serve as conversation starters, so that you can establish rapport and forge meaningful connections with individuals you meet. Whether it is discussing exciting projects or exploring industry trends, having these prompts at hand will help you to keep conversations lively and engaging.

Questions to consider:
“What’s a new project you’re excited to work on?”
“What are your thoughts on [Insert new industry innovation here]?”
“How can I be helpful to you?”
“How did you get started in this industry?”
“What are your go-to resources for guidance in this industry?”


Networking extends beyond the event itself. It is essential to have a follow-up strategy in place. Exchange contact information with individuals you meet, whether through business cards or digital notes. Connect with them on professional platforms such as LinkedIn or Twitter, and schedule follow-up meetings to continue your discussions. Nurturing these relationships post-event is vital for potential future collaborations and opportunities.

Another option is to send a follow-up email, but don’t wait too long to send it. Make it personalized and valuable, possibly sharing an article about a topic you discussed, or offering an introduction to someone in their field. And if they show interest, make sure to keep in touch.


Perfect your elevator pitch, a short introduction to highlight your skills, experience, and objectives clearly and engagingly. Practice your pitch beforehand to ensure it is professional, polished, and concise. A compelling elevator pitch will leave a lasting impression on those you encounter.

Once you have had your say, be ready for their questions. Lengthy answers will lose your audience because people have short attention spans. Short responses keep people engaged and informed about who you are.

Have Answers for These Questions:
“What do you do?”
“What’s your career goal?”
“How can we help you?”
“What are the challenges you’re facing?”
“What are your goals for the year?”

Walk in the door prepared with these networking tools and you’ll get the most out of every networking event you attend. Think of questions beforehand to engage in interesting conversations. Set clear objectives so you don’t waste time. Find a way to exchange contact information so you can follow-up the next day. Practice your elevator pitch and have answers to key networking questions so you stand out.

Bring these tools with you to your next event and you’ll leave with more than just a full stomach of free refreshments.

This information is from the Improving Communications Networking & Interviewing class. Need to find a way to improve your overall communication skills? Register for one of our upcoming public classes.
Image by Steve Cliff from Pixabay

Other Networking Tools Resources:

What are the most effective tools or platforms for facilitating business networking and collaboration? – LinkedIn

Speed Networking Questions: 100 (Actually Interesting) Things to Ask – Speed Networking

A Recruiters Guide to Networking Etiquette: 14 Do’s and Don’ts – Test Gorilla

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