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.
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Preparing for the Unexpected: How Maria Fava Found Her Confidence as a Bicultural, Bilingual Woman at T. Rowe Price
Born in Mexico City and raised in Guadalajara, Maria Fava never would have predicted that she'd have a career in financial services. And certainly not in Maryland.
Over two decades ago, when Maria moved to the U.S. to study psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, she'd planned on moving back to Mexico to study law after graduation. Instead, she fell in love with an unassuming Italian-American her senior year. She married him and moved to Maryland, his home state.
I thought about writing this blog piece like one of those quizzes that used to be on the back pages of Seventeen and Cosmo where each question would offer several answers of varying point levels and you'd pick one answer per question, tally up your points at the end, and match your score to one of several possible results.
A five-step framework for addressing systematic racism at work
The world has changed in the past few weeks.
We're watching corporations and organizations across the world come out in support of Black lives in droves. Many of those organizations are doing so for the first time in their history.
Meet Michelle Baker, a technical recruiter at Surescripts. She shared her top tips for applying to Surescripts.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the company's interview process, culture, and values, and learn how you can best prepare for interviews!
To learn more about Surescripts and their open roles, click here.
Jasmine Harvey is pursuing her MBA while working full-time as a buyer for Viasat, a global communications and satellite internet company. Balancing home, work, and school while maintaining a 3.9 grade point average has been quite a challenge. Jasmine had a perfect 4.0 until she took one of the hardest classes in her program, Managerial Economics and Global, during this COVID pandemic. She finished a full 15 percentage points above the class average, but was still 0.6 points away from an "A".