Last night was neighboring city's Chamber trade show. It was a good show for me. Someone unexpected joined our Chamber, I ran into an old friend who also hit it off with another of my friends, I saw a business neighbor from a previous job, and I got yelled at about a political issue. Except for the last part, it was a great deal of fun and the networking was great.
I'm very outgoing and people oriented, so of course I would enjoy the show. But is this form networking great for all styles of personality?
Yes - I think a trade show is one of the best networking events out there for all types of people.
If you've very outgoing; what a great opportunity to meet a lot of new people in one place. The only danger for you is that you'll take too long with each person you meet and won't get around to the entire show.
Are you direct and to the point? Great- use the listing of businesses to target where you want to go and who you specifically want to meet. Just don't miss out on the serendipitous meeting by being too focused and brusque.
Even those who like to meet and get to know people but find it hard to initiate can find it easy to make contact. The people in the booths want you to approach them and will talk to you as soon as you make eye contact. Take a buddy so you don't let your shyness keep you away from the event.
And, if you really don't like people, crowds, or talking? Just grab a tote bag, keep your head down, and pick up their information so you can review it in peace and quiet. Then call the businesses you're interested in the next day and ask for a time to talk over their services in an atmosphere where you can hear yourself think!