Local chamber events, happy-hour events, seminars, and receptions are all great networking opportunities as long as you follow the proper networking etiquette.
What is proper networking etiquette?
Arrive on time. you should try to always arrive on time and especially if there is a key note speaker. Do not be that person that walks in late and interrupts the key note speaker and all those that are listening.
Follow up. Do not go to a networking event just to collect as many business cards as you can. Follow up with a call or an email with the people that gave you their business card.
Listen up. Do not just be the person doing all the talking about yourself and/or your business. Attentively listen to what others have to say. Ram Dass (spiritual teacher): “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”
Be genuine. Do not go to a networking event and tell people that you can do things that you actually do not. Be genuine and provide a clear statement of what it is you do.
Respect others. Do not go to a networking event and start taking pictures of people and then post it on social media without their consent. If you like the picture you just took and want to post it then ask the other person for their permission.
Be prepared. If you have been asked to speak at the event then make sure to keep your message concise and accurate. If people have additional questions then suggest to them that you can speak one on one after your presentation.