Networking Events: How to Make a Lasting Impression

how to make a lasting impression

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Ever wanted to make a lasting mark at networking events? In the world of professional connections, a strong first impression is key1. You’re probably asking: how can I make a memorable impact on potential collaborators? Our guide will show you how to stand out and build real connections at your next event.

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Making a strong first impression at networking events is vital. It helps in growing your professional circle1, boosts your personal brand, and lets you learn from others in the industry. By learning how to make a great first impression, you can maximize on every networking chance you get.

The Importance of Networking

Networking is key for professionals who want to move forward in their careers. It helps you connect with more people, find new partners, and learn about your industry2. Also, at networking events, you get the chance to make a name for yourself and get noticed in your field3.

Expand Your Professional Network

It’s important to attend networking events to grow your relationships and spot new job options3. Going to conferences or meet-ups can increase your contact list3. Remember, a smile, a strong handshake, and being polite make a big difference when you first meet someone2.

Gain Exposure and Build Your Personal Brand

Being at networking events helps you get seen and strengthen your personal brand3. The way you look can impact what others think of your skills, known as the “halo effect,” especially at networking events3. It’s vital to stay true to yourself to avoid coming off as fake2.

Acquire New Knowledge and Experience

Talking with people from different parts of your industry can teach you a lot and broaden your perspectives, which helps you grow professionally2. Having deep discussions that lead to possible work partnerships is a smart move3. After events, keeping in touch with those you meet is essential for long-term connections3.

Mastering the First Impression

Making a brilliant first impression is crucial at networking events. How you look, act, and talk shapes others’ views of you. It’s vital to get this part right to build strong relationships and open doors.

Dress for Success

Wearing the right clothes is key to a perfect first impression. Dress in tight, correct clothes for your field and experience level. A sharp look shows you take things seriously and are ready to impress.

Practice Good Grooming and Hygiene

Having a clear skin care routine and neat hair, along with properly washed and ironed clothes, leads to a polished image4. Good grooming makes you look your best and shows you care about the little things. It’s a sign of how much you value the occasion.

Arrive on Time

Being on time shows you take the event seriously and respect everyone’s time. Arrive early to show you’re eager and prepared for networking.

Utilize Confident Body Language

Positive body language, like standing straight and not crossing arms, is key for a good first impression5. Hold your head up high, look people in the eye, and stop any nervous movements. This way, you appear friendly and sure of yourself, setting the scene for positive talks.

Vary Your Tone and Inflection

Spending a few minutes on light chat at the start can make your meeting more productive6. Inflect and tone your voice differently to keep others engaged and to show your interest. Don’t speak in a flat voice, since it might show you’re not all in654..

The Power of a Handshake

The simple act of shaking hands can say a lot without words. A strong, sure handshake shows you’re serious, honest, and believe in yourself. It starts your conversation on a good note. When you touch someone’s hand, you make a hormone called oxytocin. This makes the other person trust you more7.

If you know how to shake hands well, it can open a lot of doors for you. A bad handshake might make you miss out on jobs or business chances. This is because it can show what kind of person you really are and how you feel about the person you’re meeting. The handshake is a must-do in business, especially when you meet someone for the first time7.

8 Handshakes do more than just greet someone. They make the meeting feel warmer and more trusting in just a few seconds. It’s smart to be the first to offer your hand. This shows you have faith in yourself and your people skills. When shaking hands, do it with some strength and a few good pumps, around 1 to 38.

9 Handshakes are super important in the professional world. They help build trust and show you’re serious. Different parts of the world have different ways to shake hands. This means you need to be aware of these customs when you’re with people from other places. Since COVID-19, handshakes are less common because of safety. Instead, people use different ways to greet each other, like bumping elbows or just a friendly nod9.


To leave a memorable first impression, a firm handshake is key. It’s crucial whether you’re at a networking event, job interview, or meeting a client. A good handshake helps you stand out and build valuable relationships789.

Make Eye Contact and Listen Attentively

Looking into someone’s eyes and giving them your full attention are key in networking. It helps you connect with others and leaves a strong memory10. Staring at them isn’t necessary though. You can glance between their eyes or at their mouth. This keeps the contact friendly and genuine during talks10.

Maintain Natural Eye Contact

Eye contact is a big part of how we communicate without words10. It lets the other person know you’re focused and reliable. Making eye contact shows you’re interested in what the speaker’s sharing.

Be an Active Listener

Listening isn’t just about waiting for your chance to talk. It’s about really engaging with the other person10. You can show you’re listening by nodding, smiling, and making small sounds of agreement. But, be sure not to cut in while they’re talking. It can make them feel undervalued. Instead, ask questions or repeat what they said, so they know you’re tuned in10.

Keep your eyes on the speaker and show you’re listening, and you’ll forge deeper connections with your peers. Good listening needs practice, but it can make a big difference in your communication skills11. Improving in these areas will help you stand out in networking settings10.

Choose Your Words Wisely

Your choice of words when you introduce yourself matters a lot. It’s better to be seen as trustworthy instead of overly confident12. Using positive words can make people more open to working with you12. Make sure you pay attention during conversations. Don’t let your phone or the room distract you. This shows your respect for the time and focus of those you’re talking to12.

Project Trustworthiness Over Confidence

In networking, balance confidence with being seen as reliable is key. A voice that goes up at the end can make you sound unsure12. Have a tone that’s both positive and certain to boost your trustworthiness. Always aim to build a real connection with the people you’re talking to12.

Avoid Distractions and Stay Present

Being fully engaged is vital at networking events12. Keep your phone out of sight and focus completely on the conversation at hand12. Eye contact is important for this connection12. It also helps to do some research about who you’ll be talking to beforehand12. Being prepared shows you value everyone’s time12.

communication skills

Remember, your aim is to highlight your communication skills, trustworthiness, and how well you engage. Also, be sure to show good networking manners. Use the right words and always be present in your talks. This way, you will make a great lasting impression and build meaningful relationships121314.

how to make a lasting impression

Networking events are a great chance to stand out. Bringing a promotional product, like a pen or keychain, can help. It gives your new friends a physical reminder of you, cementing your bond15.

Come Prepared with Background Knowledge

Don’t forget to know a bit about the event, its host, and what’s big in the industry. Showing that you’re truly interested makes a deeper connection16.

Be Authentic and Tell Personal Stories

Being real is key, so tell some personal stories. Sharing your experiences helps people remember you better. This builds a strong and memorable bond16.

Using these tips elevates your networking game. Making a great first impression isn’t just about the beginning. It’s also about keeping in touch and growing your relationships over time1516.

Build Connections and Rapport

Networking is more than trading business cards. It’s making real connections and growing close to your contacts. The trick is to find things you share, like hobbies or past experiences17. Using the right kind of humor can also make you more approachable and the talk more fun18. Always try to remember names. It shows you care and can make a lasting memory17.

Find Common Ground

Try to find what you have in common, be it a hobby or work. Talking about these shared interests can help you make a real bond18. Asking genuine questions shows you’re interested. This can lead to deeper talks and stronger connections17.

Use Humor to Break the Ice

Adding humor to your talks can make them smoother and more pleasant18. A good joke or light story can relax the atmosphere. But, make sure your humor fits the situation and won’t offend anyone17.

Remember and Use Names

It’s important to remember and use the names of your new contacts19. This small act can show you value them. It also boosts your active listening skills. Engaging in meaningful talks further helps you recall their names17.

Building connections and rapport focuses on making lasting impressions. It helps in setting up valuable professional and personal relationships19. To do this, be yourself, show you’re really interested, and share understanding with others18.

Follow Up and Nurture Relationships

The work after meeting someone is key. It helps turn people you just met into solid business partners20. You should connect with them soon, like within a day or two. Use email or professional social media for this. It shows you’re really interested and sets the stage for a good work relationship20.

Connect on Social Media and Email

Use LinkedIn to stay in touch with your new contacts21. Its system helps new connections see your posts more. Make your connection and messages personal. Also, interact with what your connections post to keep strong online ties21.

Email is also great for keeping up. It lets you keep talking and find ways to work together20. Make these messages personal. Talk about things you both showed interest in at the event. Send helpful stuff, like articles, to keep the connection growing20.

Set Up Future Meetings or Calls

Keep the ball rolling by suggesting a next meeting or call20. This is a chance to talk deeper about what you both do. It helps turn your new friends into potential work partners20. Meeting again helps a lot. It can really boost your networking success22.

Sort your contacts into different groups for how often you follow up22. For A-list people, check in every 30 days. B-listers hear from you every three months. The C-list might only get a yearly ping. And you can use tech tools to make following up easier22.

Stay connected with your network. Keep in touch and follow up the right way. This turns brief meetings into helpful, long-term partnerships for your job and business20.


When you start networking, know it’s not all about growing your contacts. It’s about making a mark that lasts. Studies have shown that conclusions are really important. They help to effectively wrap up your argument. This is just as true for networking.

For a lasting impact, work on a clear, brief, and strong finish to your talks. LinkedIn advises you to sum up your main ideas, make your point again, push for an action, and close with something memorable23. Also, adding in personal stories, real-life examples, and humor can make people relate better24.

By mastering the skill of networking and making a notable impression, you really get the most out of these gatherings. You’ll grow your professional circle, strengthen your personal reputation, and advance your career. Remember these tips. They will help you stand out among those you meet.

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