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OMPA Tips: Networking Do’s and Don’ts

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There’s always that one person at every event: the one that everyone avoids because they spend the evening desperately asking for work, talking a mile a minute without letting others get a word in, or excessively imbibing to the point where their words are an endless stream of gibberish. The purpose of networking is to MEET people, to BEGIN to develop relationships that MIGHT lead to WORK or COLLABORATION. It is a time to relax, be yourself, and maybe, just maybe, something magical will happen!

In order to help you network at one of the fabulous events that OMPA sponsors, we’ve compiled some handy-dandy networking tips for you to follow:

Networking Don't 1

Yes, have your pitch ready. But don’t drone on and on. Be clear and concise – and ready to elaborate ONLY IF the other person asks for more information. If their eyes glaze over and they simply nod, move on to a new topic. Perhaps:

Networking Do 4

Almost everyone loves to talk about themselves! Especially if they have something exciting to share. But try not to pry – if you do your homework ahead of time, you can avoid open-ended questions like “What are you working on?”, and instead ask “I hear you recently shot on location at Fort Stevens – what was that like?”

Networking Do 2

If the other person takes the time to share their experiences, be a courteous listener.

Networking Do 1

Finally, if you hit it off with someone, make sure and give them your business card (and kindly ask for theirs in return) and follow up with them after the event! But please, avoid these pitfalls (bear with us, they are a bit redundant):

Networking Don't 2

It’s one thing to be excited and confident, it’s quite another to turn off your listener by being overly boastful.

Networking Don't 3

Just like you shouldn’t oversell yourself, don’t oversell your projects. Keep your pitch short and concise. They will ask for more information if they want it.

Networking Don't 4

Which is to say, don’t bombard people with information or questions, keep it natural and conversational!

And finally:

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Hope our tips help! And we’ll see you at the next Cameras & Cocktails!