Help! 6 tactics to get through networking events


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If you find networking a daunting prospect, you’re not alone.

But it really becomes a problem when you’re not able to take advantage of some of the opportunities around you.

Here are a few simple psychological tactics to develop your social agility:

  • Start small and increase with confidence
  • Practice networking in-house
  • Use the currency of generosity
  • Try social media before events
  • Embrace diversity when networking
  • Network with mindful authenticity

Let’s now look at these in more detail.

  1. Start small and increase with confidence

When consulting entrepreneurs looking to start up in the UAE, we invariably end up talking about networking opportunities.

However, exciting as it is to take an aggressive approach – forcing your networking is unlikely to bring results if you’re not confident in these situations.

So give yourself a small and attainable networking goal for your next event and increase the bar gradually. If you have just made three contacts – make it four next time.

Over time, small improvements will accumulate and turn your business into a powerful networking machine. This compounding formula is revealed in Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect. He puts it this way:

‘Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = radical difference’.

  1. Practice networking in-house

Networking professionals display calm, confident, and natural energy. Practicing your opening questions beforehand is an excellent strategy for enhancing confidence and legitimately rewiring your brain to become a better networker. Practically, you’re likely to become less stuck for words when approaching someone. It’s also less likely you’ll shy away from key contacts.

You can create in-house role play scenarios and develop networking and communication skills across your company. How about challenging your employees (and yourself) to create a gamified two minute elevator pitch with a prize for the best?

Role playing changes dynamics into a more interactive a friendly environment – something very useful for developing your skill at breaking the ice.

  1. Use the currency of generosity

Does powerful networking equal business growth? Potentially, yes. But there is a paradox – most successful entrepreneurs recommend that you actually focus on giving others value rather than trying to actively take it.

Keith Ferrazzi, the CEO of US research and consultancy firm, Ferrazzi Greenlight, says that ‘The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity’ in his New York Times bestselling book, Never Eat Alone.

With that in mind:

  • Focus on giving value to others
  • Show interest in someone’s business
  • Offer authentic insights and help
  • Let rewards flow to you

Giving value makes sense when it comes to building your network. If you import exotic rugs from China to the UAE, and you’re seeking a relationship with a company that has luxury home furnishing shops all over Europe – then you’re likely to gain traction by giving your contact helpful advice.

Maybe you can share private research findings, or offer to send some samples. You’ll instantly build trust and boost the odds of doing business in the future.

Ferazzi notes that, ‘It’s better to give before you receive. And never keep score. If your interactions are ruled by generosity, your rewards will follow suit.’

  1. Try social media before events

If you’re nervous about face-to-face networking, the internet offers you the chance to network remotely via LinkedIn and other channels. Social media has the power to help you interact with people before meeting them in person. This icebreaker method can be useful if you don’t like to feel isolated when attending a big networking event.

There are many entrepreneur networking groups in and around Dubai, offering the chance of online interaction. Take a look at the following, and see where it leads you:

There are several other LinkedIn entrepreneur groups worth investigating, including:

  1. Embrace diversity when networking

There are big benefits to connecting with a diverse range of people in the business world. In Frans Johansson’s book The Medici Effect, he suggests that the best ideas stem from the impact of different industry views.

He highlights the case of Leonardo da Vinci: ‘The defining Renaissance man and perhaps the greatest intersectionalist of all times, believed that in order to fully understand something one needed to view it from at least three different perspectives.’

In practical terms: 

  • Analyse your networking biases
  • Seek out new types of people
  • Consider the potential of different ideas

Johansson suggests that getting out of your comfort zone can create ‘intersectional innovations’ which can transform your business with ideas that you would never have come up with without new perspectives. Where would Apple’s typography be without Steve Jobs taking a random calligraphy course?


If you are looking to get your company license in the UAE, free zone, or mainland, or even in Qatar and Saudi Arabia –  then our team can help. We also offer monthly installment plans for UAE company registration.


  1. Network with mindful authenticity

Mindfulness is a legitimate business tool that can positively affect organisational behaviour, emotions, performance, and relationships.

This makes practices such as pre-networking meditation potentially very useful. It’s a way to be calmer when working in a room, and more able to use the inspiration and ideas gleaned from an event when back in the office. A quieter mind will also keep you on track with things such as networking accountability and avoiding negative chatter.

Last but not least, being authentic is essential when networking – be honest, be real, and take the true DNA of your brand out into the world.

We are the team of Set Hub, your best business setup advisor across the Gulf Region. If you are looking to open your company in Dubai, across the UAE, in KSA or Qatar, get a free zone license, or start a business in the mainland, then we can help. From visa applications to all the necessary admin tasks, we handle it all – leaving you free to get on with your business.