It’s extremely important to dress in a way that represents how you’d like to be perceived, but it’s even more vital to feel comfortable. Don’t wear new shoes that fit questionably at best, and do make sure you won’t be too hot – particularly if you’re prone to nervous sweats! If you have a go-to outfit that is smart but comfy, that should be your first consideration. Layers are good – perhaps a well-fitting blazer with something light underneath – so that you can remove or add items in response to the room temperature. Make sure you’re not carrying too much with you, as you don’t want to waste your energy worrying about where to put everything and whether it’s all in a safe place!
Relax – There’s No Pressure
If you find that you’re worried or nervous prior to networking, the first thing to do is to discern exactly what is troubling you. If you’re worried that you won’t get to meet everyone you’re interested in, just remember that you don’t have to – all you have to do is make sure you have a means of getting in touch with them afterward. If you’re concerned that you won’t have anything to talk about, that’s fine – maybe rehearse some simple conversation openers to get you into the flow of things. If you reckon you might find yourself hovering around the outside of the room, unable to engage, that’s Ok too; if you attend networking events regularly, the chances are that many of the others in the room will too, and it is very likely that you’ll meet them further down the line. Many of them will be in the same boat as you anyway, and you may find that you’re all on better form the next time you meet!