How to Make The Most of an Awards Ceremony

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In some ways, October seems to signal the beginning of the end of the year.
As the conference year starts to trail off, the industry awards seasons enters full gear.
High on the ranks for many, industry awards are the crowning glory of all industry events.
Your industry elites, peers and competitors are all bound to be there, so why not you?

Unless you are privileged sort that secures a complimentary ticket, they do not come cheap.

Nonetheless, here are some basic tips to help you make the most of them:

  1. Practice your pitch – You’re bound to meet an overwhelmingly large number of new people in the span of a few hours, so learn how to say what you have to offer clearly and very very concisely.
  2. Carry more business cards than you think you need – It’s surprising how quickly you’ll get through them and make sure you keep them handy too. For the ladies, make sure you’re not having to fumble down to the bottom of your handbag!
  3. Update your website and social media profiles – After you have handed out all those cards, it is likely people will check out your website and profiles in the following days. Ensure all your product, profile and contact information is up-to-date.
  4. Sharpen your networking skills – It pays to learn how to ease into and out of a conversation, and also how to keep the conversation going.
  5. Do some industry research – Conversations will likely centre on your industry so it doesn’t hurt to know what been going on. What have been the key challenges? Any new innovations? Who has been acknowledged for their work? What is the outlook for next year? Review past issues of trade journals and catch up on the news.
  6. Choose your outfit with care – Formal wear is most likely to be the order of the day but you still need to be comfortable. You don’t want to be the one adjusting your clothes when you’re finally in front of the person you have been trying to get to answer your calls all year. Does your whole outfit say what you want it to say about you? If you are not sure, ask your family and friends.
  7. Get there early – You get to scan and take in the room which may help alleviate anxiety. You also buy yourself some extra networking time and if you get a good spot you can keep an eye on who is coming in.
  8. Go easy on the food and drink – Remember! Your primary reason for attending the event is to network and hopefully create meaningful business and professional relationships. Make the most of it.
  9. Avoid hanging out with your friends – Friends are great, but avoid hurdling in the same group throughout the evening as this can limit how well you widen your network. Other people are also less likely to approach you too.
  10. Follow-up with the contacts you are interested in immediately so you remain on their radar. You could also send them a Chistmas/New Year greeting with a proposal to catch-up in the new year.

Happy networking!

(Picture courtesy of Yummy Magazine)

{Further resources e.g. on pitch practice, networking skills and more, are also available on our blog}.

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