Too often when working a room, many of us do so with little thought on being organized. As lawyers, we are methodical by nature in many of our dealings, but I expect networking isn’t one of them. Then, I ran across a post Bruce Allen did on his Marketing Catalyst blog during the holidays, that I like for it’s systematic approach and wanted to share it.

Allen talks about working a room in 60-minutes, presumably because during the busy holiday season, people have numerous events to attend. Whether you limit your networking to a fixed time, isn’t the point, what is has to do with being organized to get the most out of what might otherwise be a haphazard approach to networking. So, here’s his suggestions:

  • Get there early and check out the name tags for people you want to talk with;
  • In the early stages, hang out at the entrance to see (people you want to engage in conversation) and be seen;
  • Invite people to join you at the bar or food table, and offer to bring drinks to a group you’d like to join;
  • After the event is in full swing, move to the back of the room greeting people as you go;
  • From the back, survey for additional people, including VIPs you would like to meet; and
  • Then, work your way back toward the entrance greeting people as you go.

Take a look at his post, as I didn’t capture all his points. A more organized approach to working an event makes sense, and after you get the hang of it, improve your chances of success at networking.

  • Good points. But they only get you to “Hello.” Lots of lawyers actually get to “Hello” regularly, but struggle to do much more than make a casual friend. Few accomplish their real purpose in attending: Find a qualified sales lead.
    If you want to learn how to go from “Hello” to a person scheduling a call or meeting regarding a problem that requires your skills to solve, go to for a free simulation of a virtual networking event. Learn by doing.

  • Anything you want to do well needs a plan. Too many people (lawyers and others) just think they will “wing it” when they go to networking events. Thus when they get no results they blame “networking” as a process… not themselves.
    The same thing is true with public speaking. There is no room to “wing it”.
    A plan and process will always beat just going with the flow. As a lawyer you would not plan a defense without having a plan… why would you let something as important to your career (like a powerful network) just happen without a plan?