During its several years of activity and success, the Holland Fintech team has organized a long array of meetups, summits, and fintech-related events. Within these social gatherings, there is always a group of attendees that is particularly versed in the art of networking. Today, in light of our upcoming November meetup, we will be sharing what we think are the best tips and tricks in order to leave an indelible mark on fellow attendees!
Before the Gathering
- Engage with attendees using the conference hashtag
Just like many other fintech events around the globe, the Holland Fintech team will often employ catchy hashtags on social media to connect different groups of people. This is why, before you even set foot in the conference venue, take advantage of social media to connect with fellow attendees. Look for the event’s official hashtag and join the conversation. Share your excitement about the event, ask questions, and initiate discussions. This proactive approach can help you establish connections before the event even begins.
- Do your research & establish connections before the event
Don’t know anybody at the gathering yet? That is no issue. In order to make sure that there are some familiar people at the event you’re attending, do your research in advance on the event’s speakers, sponsors, and fellow attendees. Identify key individuals you’d like to connect with and reach out to them through social media or professional networking platforms. Engaging in pre-event conversations and expressing your interest in their work will set a positive tone for your in-person interactions.
- Ensure that you have all the necessary tools to connect
If we had an euro for every time we’ve seen attendees frantically reaching for a piece of paper to jot down their email address for someone during our meetups, we would make bank. But in all seriousness, please bring your business card. In addition we recommend that you ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and you have a quick and efficient way to share contact information. Be ready to connect on various platforms such as LinkedIn, WhatsApp, or through QR codes.
During the Gathering
- Expect and prepare to break the ice first
Networking can be intimidating, but remember that most attendees are eager to connect as well. Take the initiative and approach others with a warm smile and a friendly greeting. Don’t be afraid to start conversations; you might be pleasantly surprised by the connections you make. Are you short of openers? Make sure to check out our Holland Fintech Ice Breaker Script attached below, as well as a bonus post-event email template!
- Take notes during speeches and conversations & leverage the information during networking
During speeches and conversations, actively take notes on key insights, ideas, or questions that arise. Another alternative we often seen during Holland Fintech Meetups is that people love taking quick snapshots with their phones of the most relevant slides and contact sheets. This information can serve as valuable conversation starters during networking sessions, as sharing your thoughts on a speaker’s presentation or referencing a common interest can lead to meaningful discussions later on.
- Make sure to look available & open for a chat
We all know how nervewracking it can be to stand tall and look available in a room full of people, but body language really is is essential. Appear approachable by maintaining open body language, such as making eye contact, offering handshakes or fist bumps (as appropriate), and actively listening. Show that you’re open to engaging in meaningful conversations.
- Keep in mind which conversations went the best
Not every conversation will be equally valuable. This is why it’s important to keep track which discussions were most fruitful and make a note of the individuals with whom you’d like to follow up. For example, if you’ve particularly bonded with 3 individuals within a larger group discussion, make it a point to ask for their LinkedIn QR codes after the conversation is over. Consider what made these conversations successful and aim to replicate those elements in future interactions.
After the Gathering
- If people are grabbing drinks after the event – join them
Nothing makes us feel more accomplished than seeing a small group of meetup attendees sneaking out by the end of the event to have a private chat and a drink in a bar closeby to the event venue, because this means that our mission to bring people together was successful! In fact, many valuable connections are made during post-event gatherings, since the atmosphere can be more informal and amicable. If a group decides to grab a drink or continue networking after the official event concludes, consider joining them. These more relaxed settings often provide opportunities for deeper connections.
- Follow through with the most relevant connections
After the event, prioritize your follow-ups. Connect with your most relevant and promising contacts on LinkedIn, send personalized messages to express your interest in continuing the conversation, and schedule follow-up meetings to discuss potential collaborations or partnerships.
- Engage with the post-event content & stay relevant
To maintain your presence within the fintech community, we strongly advise you to engage with our post-event content, such as articles, videos, or discussions related to the gathering. Comment on these posts, share your insights, and keep the conversation going. Staying active and relevant within the community ensures that your networking efforts have a lasting impact, and that you keep staying on the map within the Holland Fintech network.
We hope that these 10 tips can kickstart your networking journey, and allow you to establish meaningful connections and opportunities. As we all know, in the fintech industry, networking can be the key to discovering new opportunities and staying at the forefront of innovation. If you missed out on registering for our upcoming meetup on the topic of SME finance, you can still sing up here today!