LegalJob thought the article attached here about networking at legal events provides some useful advice.
Some additional thoughts:
▪ Do not eat or drink at these events. Keep your eye on the ball, which is to obtain contacts for follow up. Water may be ok as a mechanism for getting out of a conversation because you can finish quickly and have to refill;
▪ Do not stay for dinner. If there are two parts, cocktail hour and dinner, skip the dinner even if free. Folks are usually worn out by dinner and if you have done your work, you have obtained sufficient cards to work with. At dinner you may end up talking with one person who is not that useful to you when you could be working on your follow up for possible helpful contacts;
▪ Do not overstay in the conversation. Get what you need and get out;
▪ Take notes at the time. Every time you meet a new person, take two minutes to write three facts about that person on the back of his or her card. Perhaps one physical characteristic and two other facts that you may be able to use in your follow up. So bring a pen with you; and
▪ Come early. You can be the one that greets the first couple of guests as they arrive. It will give you something to talk about and get you in the chatting mood. Plus, you want to make sure to connect with as many people as possible in a short period of time.
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