A How-to In Lunch Networking

We all eat lunch, right? Well you should do, anyway. However, it doesn’t need to be unproductive from a business and entrepreneurial standpoint. The Networking Clubs is proud to announce we will be launching The Lunch Club in June of this year! Lunch networking is an extremely effective way to network and we want to run you through some tips on how to successfully lunch network.

Turn up a little early

Get yourself down to the events a little earlier than the recommended time. This will give you an opportunity to introduce yourself to a few individuals lingering around before the rest of the herd flock in and make it more difficult to get to people. A willingness to show up early is also an attractive asset to have in the world of entrepreneurship, so that’s a bonus, too.

Dress for the occasion

We’re sure this doesn’t need to be said, but just in case. Dress well! There is never a second chance to make a first impression and the first thing people will see is your appearance before your personality. Make sure you look the part before sounding the part, this will make being approached more likely. Indeed comment on the importance of attire in the workplace, and it is no different in networking settings.

Keep up to date on world events

As well as the networking taking place, there will also be casual chit-chat floating around the room. Being able to join in on such conversations can increase your likability and relatability. Most successful people are well read as it is, so it is something you should be doing anyway. Read newspapers, magazines, watch the news, read books. The simple things you were always told to do to remain educated are actually true in everyday life.

Eyes on the prize, not the food

Remember the lunch aspect of a lunch networking event is the secondary priority. When the lunch is in front of you and ready to be tucked into, make sure you’re maintaining good eye contact with people whilst engaging in conversation. Take your time to eat lunch when you’re listening to people.

Bring Business Cards

Make sure to bring along a good amount of business cards to hand out to the rest of the people at the networking event. Many people have business cards and this tip seems a rather redundant one, but you’d be surprised how often people leave the cards at home or don’t have enough to hand out. Try to invest in a card case, too. This is so much more professional than fumbling around in your bag or purse to dig out the final card. Yellow Print states the importance of business cards even today, so don’t think they’re going out of fashion.

Be inquisitive

One of the worst things you can do at a networking event is constantly talk about yourself. Of course, it is about finding the right balance, but make sure you’re taking an interest in the other attendees. Ask them questions, make sure you’re listening to their response and come back with a good follow up question.

Have an objective

Sometimes you can attend networking events and get too caught up in the commotion of the hustle and bustle. Set out a clear objective before you attend, like creating a certain number of job leads or getting the contact details of three of four people. This way you will have your goal in mind and not leave empty handed.

Follow-up leads

Make sure you’re following up any connections you created with a follow-up email. Leave it for two or three days and let them know you’d love to keep in touch and meet again about a certain topic. Be certain to personalise each email to the individual so it doesn’t seem like you’ve just sent a group email.

Final Thoughts

Lunch networking is a great way to experience a relaxed but effective atmosphere where you can communicate with other like-minded individuals. The Networking Clubs is launching its own Lunch Club in June, but in the meantime we have our well respected Breakfast Club every last Wednesday of the month until then! Keep up to date with us to see who will be the next keynote speaker at the Breakfast Club and more updates regarding the Lunch Club.