Here are some more tips from David Makar, consultant with the Referral Institute of Ithaca, on how to network effectively:* Be selective about which networking events you attend to make the best use of your time."Go to networking events where there will be people you can help or who can help you," he said. "Whatever your skill set is, you should try to find a group of people that matches that."For instance, people who are interested in starting a high-technology business might want to consider attending a meeting of the Finger Lakes Entrepreneurs' Forum.* "Use the networking event to set yourself apart from the competition," he said. "Clean your suit. Get a haircut. Get a car wash. ... This is your chance to make an impression on people. You want to look good."* "Treat the event like you would treat your first day on the job," he said.If the networking event will occur from 5 to 7 p.m., show up at 4:45 p.m. Arriving late means you've lost time you could have used to connect with people.* "Bring your networking tools with you," he said.That includes business cards, even if you don't have a job. Make sure they include your name, phone number, e-mail address and website -- if you have one -- that features your resume.Offering your own business card is an easy way to prompt someone to give you their business card in exchange.Also, bring your calendar so you can immediately set up meetings with people you meet at the event. It's easier to do this face-to-face rather than play phone tag later.* Follow up after the initial meeting by phone, note card or e-mail."Follow up in some way that they're going to remember who you are the next day," he said.For instance, if you offered to help someone, perhaps by providing them with some kind of information, include that information as part of your follow up.
Jean McPheeters from the Tompkins County Chamber was mentioned. I also mentioned the Finger Lakes Entrepreneur's Forum. Here are a couple links: