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Five Ways To Get More Events Contacts

Last updated April 24th, 2014

By Colin Thurston
Business revolves around making connections and managing contacts effectively. Events management is no different. Networking can be a daunting task at any stage in your career – not just when starting out. Here are five ways to widen your professional network and build new relationships today.

Choose the right course

Whether you’re taking your first steps down the road to a career in events management or you’re looking to enhance the degree you already have, choosing the right events management course is an important step. It’s not just about teaching you the facts and figures – a good course should provide access to opportunities you couldn’t get elsewhere. Institutions with strong links to the events industry, who offer placements and work experience opportunities are invaluable to anyone looking to build up their contacts.

Use social media effectively

Not just for sharing photos of your pets, social media websites (particularly LinkedIn) can be great places to meet new people and pick up new contacts within the events industry. To use social media effectively, keep these two points in mind:
Your profile is your brand – present yourself in a professional manner. Consider setting up separate profiles for work and play if you want to keep those ‘more personal’ photos out of the limelight.
Many events companies, as well as course providers, maintain their own social media pages – get involved! Don’t just like or subscribe: positively engage with them and individual industry professionals to get your name out there.

Attend or organise relevant networking events

It’s hard to beat face-to-face contact. Hundreds of LinkedIn contacts are always useful, but to develop a relationship properly you’ve got to meet someone in person and make the right impression. Even just going for coffee with someone is a networking opportunity if done right. Keep your eyes open for groups and meet-ups in your area, and if you can’t find them, organise them! Not only is this a great chance to meet people without the awkwardness of approaching new contacts one-on-one, it’s valuable events experience.

Volunteer

The events industry is renowned for its use of casual, voluntary staff in a wide variety of roles. It’s not just about nabbing free tickets to your favourite festival – volunteering is fantastic work experience, and a great way meet new people and get networking! Working alongside events staff and proving yourself as a reliable member of a team is one of the best ways to get more contacts. You’re giving co-ordinators and managers first-hand experience of your drive, passion, and work ethic – and this is worth far more than a reference or recommendation.

Know who you know

Don’t forget your existing contacts – that includes friends and family! Ask your nearest and dearest whether they know anyone in the events industry already, and see if they can arrange an introduction. Think laterally: their employers might have a ‘go to’ company that they can put you in touch with. You might be surprised at the connections you can dig up, and you’ve got an advantage over others: you’re a known entity, a friend of a friend, and that can open a lot of interesting doors.

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