Don’t fret about business cards, and remember to follow up
As a creative (and for designers especially), you might feel that you need to bring triple-foiled, embossed, duplexed cards with you to every event. I used to give people my cards and wait for a response, but people often lose them or are too busy to to follow up. Make it easy for them. If you do the work, then you won’t have to leave it to chance.
Sending a follow-up email is something a lot of people struggle with, as they worry it comes across as desperate. It definitely doesn’t. Plus, if your email is in their inbox, they’re far more likely to keep those details than a business card taking up space in their purse. A quick few lines about how you enjoyed meeting them is really all that’s needed, and make sure your email signature contains the link to your website or your Twitter handle so they can look you up.
Make meaningful connections instead of working the room
It’s definitely worth focusing on having a couple of quality conversations and getting to know the people you speak to, rather than meeting lots of people and not remembering anyone, or what you discussed.
Not only is it more enjoyable to learn something about people in the same boat as you, but it also gives them a chance to get a better impression of who you are and what you’re about. Making a good first impression is important, especially if you want to meet up with, or possibly work with, someone in the future.
Think of a few conversation topics or questions to ask before you go
What do you want to learn from the people you plan to meet? Have some themes or questions in mind, in case you have a bit of a lull in conversation, or you’re feeling a bit nervous and can’t think of anything on the spot!