Warning: this networking tip is as old as the proverbial hills. But hand on a Bible, I’ve never tried writing out my goals for attending a networking meeting or event. Have you?

People much wiser than you and I say you should jot down on a piece of paper or index card with some or all of the following:

  • Name of event
  • Host or organization hosting the event
  • Why do I want to attend the event? What are my goals?
  • Who do I want to connect with at the event (presuming you know somebody at the event).

Chances are you probably think about these things before attending. Yet something magical happens when you put pen to paper. These goals will tend to stay front-of-mind. This can be a tremendous time-saver.

For example, let’s say you run into a friend of yours at the event. Somebody you like but haven’t passed business with. The two of you are yucking it up, having a grand old time. Before you know it, you have spent a half an hour with your friend without making one new connection. You reach into your pocket and discover the index card. Without even taking it out to look at it, you realize the primary mission of attending, excuse yourself with your friend and them you will connect with them later and then get to the business of your original objective.

Never having done this exercise to the extent of putting it in writing, I can say I have spent too long in conversation with people I already know. It’s great to reacquaint with familiar faces but it’s not why you’re there. If writing down your goals for attending can stop you from leaning on that crutch, it’s probably worth a shot, right?

Yours truly will be giving this a shot at my next networking meeting. If you give it a try, let us know how it worked and we’ll compare notes.

Thanks to My Pinnacle Network for this article.