When you go to a networking event, you usually have your sights set on a few people you’re determined to meet while you’re there. But when things don’t go according to your plan, there are plenty of ways you can form a valuable connection, even if you don’t get to meet at the event.
It’s easy to get frustrated in this situation, but in the end it’s better to just move on and find someone else to talk to. Not getting to meet this person at the event could work out for the best, because it gives you the opportunity to reach out to them afterwards. It’s the perfect time to ask to grab coffee or set up an informational interview. There are so many ways to do this and, trust me, it’s not as scary as it sounds.
This may seem obvious, but you can always shoot the person you wanted to meet an email. There’s a good chance their contact information is available on their company website, their personal website, their LinkedIn, or that it’s even provided to all event attendees. Introduce yourself and let them know that you attended the networking event, but weren’t able to meet them. Even if they don’t have time to respond or to set up a time to get coffee, they will most likely be flattered that you went out of your way to make the connection after the event.
The same goes for LinkedIn. If you don’t have a way to send an email, this is another great option. Connecting with the person on LinkedIn (and sending a custom request) even gives you the opportunity to be virtually introduced through a mutual connection. This could be someone you knew from the past or someone you met at the event, but it can make a big difference in getting a response if you have that introduction.
Twitter or Instagram
Twitter and Instagram are probably the easiest ways to network with someone you haven’t met, especially if you’re connecting with someone in a creative field. If you follow the person you are trying to meet on social media and notice they are particularly active on a certain platform, reach out. For example, you can tweet something simple like this:
“@personshandle Looks like we missed each other at #HustleSummit! Would love to get in touch to discuss [X industry].”
Now the person can see you’re trying to connect and they have access to get to know who you are through your profile at the same time. Win win!
How would you make a connection with someone you didn’t get to meet at a networking event?