GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY
By signing up you accept the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
BROWSE CATEGORIES
GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY

How To Network: 4 Ways To Work A Party, Mixer or Professional Event

With over 75 events under his belt last year alone, it's safe to say Kevin Winston knows how to throw a party. The founder of Digital LA, the city's largest professional digital networking group, has a knack for connecting people in the tech and entertainment industries. His weekly mixers, panels, newsletter and social channels reach over 60,000 professionals. In his former life he crafted social media campaigns for TV shows and movies, but he still believes in the power of in-person connections.

"Real life," Kevin says, "That's where people meet friends, where they get jobs, can find staffing to ramp up. LA is a very collaborative town. When you're working on a project, whether it's a startup, film or an app, you need lots of people to get that together."

The Ivy League alum not only knows how to connect people at events, but also how to network himself. It's a skill that's crucial to his business and one that he perfects, daily. (He admittedly attends three events a night). So what does it take to work a room? Kevin gave PowerToFly these valuable tips:

1. Have an opening line.

When joining professional conversations at an event, it's all about being comfortable talking to people that you don't know. Kevin says that it's best to have an opening line, whether it be complimenting a person on their latest work or discussing the appetizers. "How do you get involved in a conversation so that you're not just sitting there on your phone? How do you position yourself to join a conversation that's happening? Just practicing that and coming up with some opening lines is helpful."

2. Network consistently, during key time slots.

Kevin gets a slew email from people asking him to become more involved in tech events. His advice is to simply go. "That's the best way to do it. A lot of it is just showing up — showing that you're supportive," he says. The key is being smart about the type of events you choose and when you attend. "I actually go to three events a night. I just have that energy." Kevin admits. "There's your 6–8pm time slot, 8–10pm and 10pm-midnight … Fill those time slots with things, whether it's cocktails, a movie screening or panel. You can even incorporate going to the gym, having dinner with friends or going to someone's birthday party as part of those time slots. Those are networking events too."

Digital LA panelists shown with founder, Kevin Winston (far right). Photo courtesy of Kevin Winston.

3. Think about what you can give, not just what you can get.

"It's good to have a purpose when networking, but it's also important to be selfless."

Kevin explains, "You might have some advice that you can offer someone else, so that it's not just about you getting something, but also giving something … If you help someone, they might actually help you too. People remember you better if you help them out on something, especially in LA."

4. Change your networking approach when you're job hunting.

When you're looking to make a career move, Kevin suggests not only following the first three tips, but also focusing on the area that you're interested in. "If there's a networking event and someone is speaking from a company that you're interested in working at, go there and ask how they like working there. Maybe set up an informational interview or coffee afterwards."

Want to learn how to step up your professional networking game? Check out: How To Plan A Networking Event: 4 Tips From A Party Professional.

Join PowerToFly today to become part of our fast-growing network of all-star women in tech.

popular

How These Companies Are Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.

That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Relativity

How Relativity’s Monika Wąż Conquered Fear to Find Her Dream Career

There's a phrase in her native Polish that Monika Wąż reminds herself of each day: "If you don't learn, you're just going backward."

The Associate Product Manager at legal and compliance technology company Relativity says she would believe in a growth-centered approach to work even if she wasn't in the tech field, but that it's especially important because she is.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Autodesk, Inc.

How Embracing What She Doesn’t Know Led Autodesk’s Arezoo Riahi to a Fulfilling Career in DEI

Arezoo Riahi isn't a big fan of the "fake it till you make it" approach. She'd rather ask for the help she needs and learn from it.

Autodesk's Director of Diversity and Belonging joined the design software company from the nonprofit world after a long career in connecting people from different cultures. While her work had been deeply rooted in DEI values, there were certain parts of the strategy-building aspects to her new role that she wasn't sure about.

"If you know it, show up like you know it. If you don't know it, you shouldn't fake it. And Autodesk didn't shame me for not knowing everything. They helped me, and the entire team, by providing the resources that we needed, bringing in outside expertise to help teach us when we were in new territory," says Arezoo, who has been at Autodesk for three years now, during which she's been promoted twice into her current role.

We sat down with Arezoo to hear more about her path into DEI work, what she thinks the future of that work must include, and what advice she has for women looking to build fulfilling careers, from knowing what you don't know and beyond.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Videos

Behind-the-Scenes: Sales Interview Process at LogMeIn

Get an inside look at the interview process for sales roles at LogMeIn, one of the largest SaaS companies providing remote work technology, from Michael Gagnon, Senior Manager of Corporate Account Executive Sales.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Procore Technologies Inc

How Being an Open Member of the LGBTQIA+ Community Has Helped Procore’s Alex Zinik Overcome Imposter Syndrome at Work

Alex Zinik wasn't surprised that she started her career in education—she decided she would become a teacher when she was just in third grade.

She was surprised while working as a paraeducator in the school system and preparing to become a special education teacher, she discovered that it didn't feel quite right. "I didn't know if that's what I really wanted to do," she recalls.

So a friend suggested she take a job during her off summers at construction software company Procore. She thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out this new challenge, and if she needed to, she could go back to the school district once the summer was over.

"Five summers later, I'm still here!" she says, smiling. "And I see myself here for many more years. I just fell in love with the company, the culture, and with the career growth opportunities I was presented with."

As part of our Pride month celebrations, Alex, currently the Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO at Procore, sat down with us to share how a common fear—the fear of being found out—underlay the imposter syndrome she felt when pivoting to an industry in which she lacked experience, and the anxiety she often felt before coming out to her friends and family about her sexuality.

Read on for her insight on overcoming negative thought patterns, being yourself, and paying it forward.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
© Rebelmouse 2020