10/22/2013 10:23 am ET | Updated Dec 22, 2013

10 Networking Tips That Actually Work


I have attended hundreds of tech events in the last 10 years. I have witnessed and experienced how seemingly lucky breaks are nearly always down to opportunity colliding with good preparation. Event season is now in full swing. These might seem like simple and obvious tips, but if you follow them, you will maximize your return.

Basically what you want to do is accelerate your serendipity. Luck plays a role in nearly every successful start ups' formative years. These tips will help increase your chances of being in the right place at the right time and, most importantly, being able to follow up on the luck. If you prepare properly you too can have a story like Dan Berger at SXSW last year.

1. Prepare to be on the go 18 hours a day.
2. Pretend you are Irish, and embrace the alcohol-fuelled networking opportunities.
3. Research the speakers, and look up profiles of you want to target so you recognize them in a queue for coffee, lunch, the bar, wherever.
4. Be prepared to pitch at a moments notice.
5. Bring 150 decent-looking business cards, and use technology to help you network.
6. Use twitter and other serendipity engines.
7. Bring a phone charger.
8. Wear runners.
9. As soon as you pitch, have a meeting, take notes and follow up. But please don't go overboard like Sharma Kambani suggests tagging people in to pictures on Facebook, as virtually no one is looking for an NBF at a tech event!
10. Add value. If you can help someone, this will put you on the front foot with any new connection.

Remember networking should and can be a fun part of growing your company. Ultimately, you want to get to the point where networking is a lifestyle like with Neil Patel .