Networking is one of those necessary evils in the entertainment industry. Some folks love it, others would rather be doing anything else. No matter where you currently stand on the subject, we can all agree that the journey to success is much more challenging for those without connections. And a great way to expand your connections is by attending networking events!
What’s a networking event, you ask? It can be everything from a multi-hundred person conference or event to a low-key dinner or coffee meeting. The only elements that are really needed to qualify an experience as a networking event is being in a room with people you don’t already know (or don’t know well). The goal is to connect with new people with similar interests! Sounds simple, but it can feel overwhelming.
It’s important to know yourself and your limits before attending an event. Are you an introvert or extrovert? Do you get drained after talking to a certain number of people? What are your goals going into the event? Understanding who you are, why you’re there, and what you want to bring into the room. I like to set really specific goals before networking events such as:
- Meeting X number of new people (my number is often lower like 3-5, whereas many of my extrovert friends have goals of 8-10).
- Make sure each person you speak to walks away feeling great about themselves and the conversation.
- Learn X number of new things about the industry (maybe about a job you aren’t familiar with!)
- Ask more questions to others than you answer questions about yourself.
In episode 8 of “It’s a Slate of Mind”, Alison Haselden and guest Michael Rub chat about all things to do with networking. From dealing with the nerves, the truth about meeting execs and casting directors, to their three main tips for successful interactions at networking events.