…it just means that you haven’t formally met! Don’t be afraid to go up to people, smile, introduce yourself and ask them who they are and what they do. Everyone in a business networking scenario likes to share who they are and what their business is about – and if they don’t, thank them and move on.
I met a person last night who expressed a regret over missing another event; since I was at said happening myself, I told him what took place, then introduced him to the panel member he wanted to speak to (there would have been no way he could have picked him out of the crowd). So two firms met, connected, and have the potential to do business together in the future. All because I wasn’t afraid to say hello.
How does this benefit me? Well, it was no effort to extend the favor, but the return of goodwill has the potential to be a windfall for me. Not only do I look like I have the pulse on what’s happening at the event, but I am seen as professionally generous and willing to work with others (this isn’t 100% always the case but still…). Also, when I want to work with either of them in the future (which could happen), that won’t be nearly so difficult because we have established a relationship. This is fundamental for growth these days, in such times of flux.
No money down, big ROI.