Events are great opportunities to connect and network, getting access to a concentration of people from the industry, instead of getting lost in their inbox! Over the last year, we haven't been able to attend recruitment fairs or events in person because of Covid-19 (the worst c word of all these days) but there are still opportunities to connect virtually. Through networking, you can - be it in person or virtually - speak to studios, get specific career advice, land portfolio feedback and find out all the wonderful things they do.
So we have compiled a list of tips to help you network like a pro.
Yes, we are very good to you.
Do Your Homework: Before an event, do your homework on who is going to be there. Think about who you want to speak to and why. This is also great for prepping your portfolio, so you can tailor your it to the kind of work that you want and the types of the studios you want to work with.
Make sure you have a way of showing your work that shows it at its best. Yes, mobile phones are convenient, but are they really that great for showing work on?
Don’t Be Shy: Yes, it can be very nerve racking talking to new people or the recruiters of your dream studio but remember we want to talk to you! So don’t be shy! If you know that you get your words all jumbled up when you're nervous, figure out your icebreaker/elevator pitch in advance.
If the person/studio you want to talk to is hosting a presentation at the event, attending prior to speaking to them can also serve as a way of introducing yourself: ‘I saw your talk…etc.’
Be a Geek: be honest and passionate about your work & what interests you. Letting your personality shine through is a great way to connect on a personal level and leave a lasting impression.
The Big Picture: Referrals & recommendations are great ways to get your foot in the door and most studios will have a referral scheme so everyone you meet is important. Events are not just about connecting with the established people you want to talk to, they’re an opportunity to build connections with your peers, see what they are up to, and meet new people.
Follow Up: Studios and individuals will meet lots of new people, so follow up after the event. Connecting on Linkedin or sending links to your portfolio after the event is an easy way to follow up and keep the dialogue going.
Now you're ready to rock your next event, and remember; always talk to strangers.