Are you too scared to attend industry events? Worried about walking into a room alone? Concerned you won’t have anything interested to say?

Events, parties and gatherings can be a great way to get to know others in the industry, make connections with like-minded people, grow your network and open up new opportunities.  But if the thought of walking into a room of strangers terrifies you, it can be daunting to hit the ‘attending’ button on any social event.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone!

I still get anxious about attending events, even after 5 years of working in the wedding industry and building a great network.  It can still be hard to break away from a smaller ‘safe’ group and head off in search of new contacts. And I know that many of you feel exactly the same way, so here are some of my top tips for working networking events like the pro you are!

Attend an event

Yes, you’re actually going to have to attend an event.  Why not join us at the next #HiveGathering?  Our Festive event is sold out, but the next one is just a couple of months away in March. These small and intimate events are the perfect introduction to networking, where the room will be filled with friendly wedding professionals I promise you’ll have heaps in common with (and yes, they’ll be feeling just as nervous as you!).

Book your ticket now.

Check out the guest list

I’ve added the event details to the B.LOVED Hive Facebook page, so you can double-check if your wedding-industry bestie is going to be there!  It’s also a great opportunity to see if there are any other members on the list who you’ve been chatting to in the group, or on social media – a great excuse to say hi!

Plan Ahead

I’m not just talking about what to wear (although wearing something you feel comfortable in will help you feel more confident) but also what you want to achieve.  Perhaps that’s to meet someone you’ve previously been talking to, or to make one new connection. Be realistic, you can always set yourself a bigger challenge next time!

Use a friend

Attending events with a friend is a great idea. Not only does it mean you don’t have to walk into a room alone, but you can also ask them to introduce you to their contacts – or rescue you if you get stuck talking to someone dull or you run out of things to say!

Shift the focus

If you think about it, what are you most nervous about? Running out of things to say!  Shift the focus onto others by asking the questions, and they’ll naturally give you topics and conversations you can feed into.  Prepare a list of questions (members can download my printable cheat sheet in the members-only area), but remember to keep the questions simple so you remember them easily!

I hope you’ve found my networking tips helpful! Why not test them out at our Festive #HiveGathering this week or the Spring #HiveGathering at 6.30pm on Wednesday 22nd March?

Tickets cost £15 for members, and £25 for non-members and includes drinks, nibbles and a festive gift! See you there?

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Author: Louise Beukes

With a background in interior design, Louise has been the Editor of award winning wedding and lifestyle blog B.LOVED for 6 years. During this time, her styling work has been published in the very best bridal publications the world over, positioning her as a forward thinking, leading authority in the wedding industry. Bringing extensive wedding industry and design experience together, she is Head Cheerleader, Advisor, Mentor, and Kick-ass Boss Lady here at B.LOVED HIVE HQ.

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