HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF EVENT NETWORKING

To get the most out of a MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions) event, it’s important to know how to network your way to the results you’re after. Here are some tips to help you network effectively in Singapore's biggest and busiest MICE venue, the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center.

At 120,000 square meters, the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center is designed to accomodate Singapore's biggest events and conferences. The massive scale of the venue is a testament to the popularity of Singapore as a MICE destination – strategically located along the world's busiest routes, with an advanced transportation system and easy communication for English-speaking visitors, the city hosts hundreds of job expos, conventions, trade shows, and other business networking events every year.

If you're exhibiting at a MICE event in Singapore, you can be confident that the venue organisers have skills borne of much previous experience running similar events. So all you need to consider is how to make a great impression for your organisation, and how you can connect with the people you most want to meet.

First and foremost, you must know what makes you special. Understand what makes you different from all the others who are exhibiting at the event. People want to know you for who you are and how you can make a difference to them. Why should they want to deal with you instead of anyone else? Keep your answer to this question in mind, and you’ll be much more confident in talking with others.

However, try to keep your personal agenda out of your introduction. At MICE venues, people barely have seconds before they move on to the next exhibit. So focus instead on the conference itself and how you fit into it. Singapore, like many other world cities, is busy and rushed for time so keep your subject matter relevant. People will be far more receptive to you if they can see your importance to the immediate vicinity and its activities.

MICE venues can become extremely noisy places, especially when the conference or exhibition ends and the networking begins. You’re not going to learn much by adding to the noise, so try to listen. People at MICE venues enjoy chatting and will enjoy your company even more if they find a receptive ear. Listen to what people have to say and take note of what is important to them.

Large MICE venues are mazes, so it's best to arrive early and explore the layout and facilities. Find out where the balconies are and the locations of the smoking and non-smoking areas. Speak to the event organisers, and ask the MICE venue staff where the good spots are to have a quiet meeting or a friendly group discussion. Then invite your contacts to these places. You’ll enjoy the appreciation of your circle and the rare opportunity for individual attention.

Above all, believe in yourself and the ability of others to help you achieve your goals. Remember, everyone at the MICE venue has some agenda to fulfil. If they see you as a person who can help them achieve their goals, they’ll be much more receptive in helping you achieve yours. And that’s the simple magic of networking.