If You Hate Going To Networking Events, Here’s How Not To


It’s kind of a stupid thing for me to say. It might sound like I’m trying to put myself out a job. But it’s just true:

I hate going to networking events.


Sometimes, they’re unavoidable for me. Maybe it’s been organised by a friend; perhaps a business buddy wants to meet me at one. Sometimes I can roll with it and try and have fun – but often, I’m totally not in the mood and can think of twelve other places I’d rather be.

If this sounds like you, here’s a solution:

Set some goals, and give yourself an out.


The Goals

To be clear: I’m not talking about hardcore, specific, person-related goals like, “Guarantee $2m funding for next season” or “Don’t leave without getting a definite YES from the head of Blue Moon Corp”. That kind of pressure is just going to make you want to spend the entire event in a washroom stall, quietly hating yourself and everyone else in the room (or at least the people pleading you to free up the loo).

I’m talking about very easily achievable goals – and ones you could complete within the first twenty minutes, if you were dedicated to them.

Here is my favourite:

“I will talk to three new-to-me people; our conversations will last for at least three sentences from me and three from them”.

Once you’ve done that? Boom. You can go home.


The Out

Pick a time that’s 1.5 – 2 hours after you arrive. Then say to yourself:

If I’m still not having a good time by then, I’m allowed to go home”

This way, the pressure is off to stay there until the bitter end. When it comes to networking, pressure is the enemy of fun. And effective, ick-free networking SHOULD be fun (more on that HERE).


These are two little tricks that can help take the onus off you having an AMAZING and PRODUCTIVE time and – as is often the case – make it more likely that you actually will.

Networking events are more manageable
when you give yourself a goal or an ‘out’



Over to you

What’s your experience of going to networking events like? Do you avoid them like the plague? Or do you sometimes go full of dread, then have a great time? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks so much for reading. If you know anyone who has a networking event impending, I’d love you to share this with them (or just with your followers). You can use one of those round buttons below.

You rule,

xx (Yes Yes) Marsha


PS want to know my best-ever client secret – and get even more advice, tips, plus stories that I won’t put on the internet? Come and join the Yes Yes Family – it’s free! Just pop your details in below:

Photo credits: Mooganic and: glugevents via Compfight cc


  • Laura

    Reply Reply August 1, 2014

    I do go to networking events but don’t really like them. As I’m just starting up my business I think it’s important to get out there and meet people and I really want to meet clients at these events.

    I know almost 100% of the population needs my services but for some reason I get all awkward when I talk about what I do…my main thought is “I want you to become my client, because I know I could help you and change your life, but don’t want you to know that that is what I want because I don’t want you to think I’m a money crazed weirdo since I don’t know you yet.”

    Am I approaching this completely wrong? Anyway, going to one tonight and I’m going to implement your suggestions!

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 2, 2014

      Laura! I am RIGHT NOW plotting my next video, which is on how to self-promote when you’re at a networking event.
      Spoiler alert: the answer is DON’T DO IT. For sure, you need to find a way to explain what you do in a way that is short and somewhat engaging. But good networking – or salesmanship, if it’s clients you’re after – is all about building Long Term Relationships, not one night stands (click here for more on that!).

      It’s also about adding value, long before you ask for anything else, (see HERE) so think about how you can help them in a small way for free (doesn’t even have to be related to your business), so that you can build trust, and have them think, “Wow, this lady is generous and smart…what else does she have to offer me?”

      Hope that’s helpful! And that along with the suggestions above, it’ll help you hate networking events less!

  • Love the photo…I have been that bored girl way too many times!

  • Carmen

    Reply Reply August 3, 2014

    What I find most difficult and makes me hate the whole networking thing is to find something to say to start to talk to people I don’t know. Or worse, that awkward moment when you manged to talk to someone, have being talking for a while and you both want to find someone else to talk to but no one is ending the conversation.