Increase Your Vendor Following at Networking Events
I’ll be attending a networking event this evening at The Fillmore, hosted by the one and only Critsey Rowe herself. Along with Critsey, there are several other vendor hosts for the evening that I hope to meet and network with as well. I’ve prepped myself to get the most out of the event. Below are the 5 steps I practice each and every time prior to a networking event that will guarantee to increase my vendor network via social media.
- Usually a list of vendor sponsors will be sent or posted prior to the networking event. I make it a point to follow each vendor sponsor on their social medial platforms… be it Instagram, Facebook, or both, just like I would before a wedding. My secret; I usually do this the day before or the day of so my name is fresh in their mind ;)
- Next, I create a list of each vendor sponsor's Instagram account (“@...”), then email it to myself the day of… I’ll explain why in a minute.
- Then I’ll do a little homework… I visit each sponsor's web page. My goal is to see what they’ve been up to and put a face to the name if I’ve never met them before. This way I’ll have a conversation starter if I run into one of them during the event. For example; “The wedding you photographed in the Dominican Republic was just stunning!!! Was that your first wedding their?”. One disclaimer, be authentic… found out what you really like about your fellow entrepreneurs and use that to create a connection.
- Don’t forget to take and post a photo during the event. Remember the IG account list you emailed yourself earlier for each vendor sponsor?? Add the list to the post, it will save you sooooo much time, and each vendor will appreciate the free PR. If you have time, also tag the vendors too so it shows up on their IG feed (this way to will link back to your account page). They may or may not reply that evening, but I can almost guarantee a ‘like’ or a ‘follow’ shortly after the event, if not during.
- Use the event hashtag just in case you didn’t get to meet someone. You can go through and comment on other people’s photos (i.e. “Sorry we didn’t get to connect last night! Would love to catch up if you’re free soon!”), and vice versa.
I hope this approach allows you to be a little more strategic at your next networking event, and increase your vendor following too! I would love to hear any other ideas you might have :)