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How to Network With Industry Leaders

Savvy Networking: How to Mingle With the Big Shots at Events

If you're attending an event with big shots you want to network with, make sure you do some preparation beforehand so you're not stuck for words. If they are very influential in their industry, everyone will want speak to them, so make good use of time if you manage to get ahold of these gurus. Here are some tips to help you mingle with the VIPs:

  • Research. First of all, if you know who is going to be there, do your best to do in-depth research on them. Read their bios, past interviews, and articles they've been featured in.
  • Prepare questions. Now that you have a good idea of what the person does and how the person got to where she is today, prepare some good questions that you find unanswered in the material you've read. Make sure your questions reflect your research efforts. Ask thoughtful, insightful questions that will impress them. Write these questions down and memorize the gist of them.
  • Pay attention. If you're attending a talk, you might hear new information about them, so you can even adapt your questions to fit the content discussed.
  • Approach and conquer. Wait for the right moment to speak to them. There may be a line of people waiting to speak to her, so be patient and wait for your turn.
  • Feel it out. Sometimes, it might be natural for you to slip in a "Let's keep in contact. What's the best way to stay in touch with you?" If it feels forced, reconsider it, and maybe even opt to reach out to them casually via Twitter or Google+ (if they are active on these networks) instead.
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