How Not To Network At A Networking Event

Posted on November 10, 2011


Recently I attended a conference and networking event on social media and business practices.

I took the chance to meet a whole group of new people and gain some understanding of what the scene is like in Munich, my new home.

I was very appreciative of the efforts made by other attendees to speak to me in English, after I had attempted to nod along with conversation, an ever  growing blank expression covering my face.

I spoke at length with two businesswomen keen to make the jump into social media branding and, I hope, some of what I had to say to them was of use.

As the evening drew on conversation broadened on to a range of topics. After half an hour we all noticed the edging approach of a man obviously keen to join our group.

Politely we stopped speaking and invited him in. In a friendly manner he was asked for his opinion of social media.

This was his opening gambit:

“It is impossible to stop. Within 30 to 50 years we will all live our lives totally online, from our homes, because the world’s atmosphere will be full of fallout from nuclear wars or disasters.”

For the first time in my life, I felt the need to physically take a step back. I was totally awestruck by this opening statement – I doubt anyone could script a worse line for an opening social exchange.

My next mistake

Ill advisedly I decided to push on to discover why he had such a bleak outlook. He mumbled something about Fukushima, the nuclear plant in Japan affected by the earthquake, but other than that I made little sense of his response.

Unsurprisingly conversation died for a while whilst we all contemplated the importance of our existence. Thankfully he fell silent from then on.

You won’t find this tip on but take it from me, leave your bleak outlook on life at the door when networking. It will not do you any favours, nor save the world from collapse!

Posted in: The Odd Box