Professional Networking is all about relationships. This concept seems diametrically opposed to the concept or “automation”, however, the key is to do it in such a way where you make automation an important part of an in-person event. That way you make better use of your limited time at the event and end up building stronger connections because you know more about the other networkers before you get there.
The automation part is automating the research not automating the relationship. So, for instance, you’re attending an event next week and there are 40 people who have confirmed that they are attending. The smart networker would review the list of names, companies and determine if those companies would make good prospects or referral partners. the smart networker would then try to reach out to the potential prospects and referral partners ahead of time and make an introduction based upon both parties attending the same event and if possible avoid spending too much time chatting with individuals that are outside of your business scope.
Here’s the problem, most mixers and networking events don’t pre-publish a list of attendees. 🙁