This article was created as part of a strategic partnership between Viperio & Esports Insider. Learn more here.
Attending esports business networking events like ESI Next Gen is a great way to grow your network and expand your business contacts. It’s an opportunity to meet new people, make connections, and find potential sponsors or partners. Here are my top five tips to help you network effectively at an esports business event.
Before attending an event, do your research on the attendees, the agenda, and the event itself. Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve from attending the event and prepare a brief introduction to those you might speak to. You may want to bring business cards or any relevant marketing materials that can help you stand out.
It goes without saying that it is better to be overdressed than underdressed. Leave the tracksuit at home, clean yourself up a bit, and stick on a shirt or a jumper; first impression count!
Make a good first impression by being approachable and friendly. Smile, make eye contact, and start conversations with other attendees. Ask open-ended questions that show you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. Don’t be afraid to initiate a conversation, even if you feel nervous (it happens to all of us).
I personally find it easiest to just approach someone and say, “Hey I’m Brodie and I am here with Viperio, what’s your name and who are you here with?”. It is a good conversation starter, and no one (no matter what you think) will turn you down and not talk to you.
Listening to what others are saying and ask follow-up questions. Show a genuine interest in their business and their challenges. Be attentive and show that you are actively listening, which can help you build rapport and establish a meaningful connection.
After the event, follow up with the people you met. Send them a brief email, message, or LinkedIn request and thank them for their time and the opportunity to connect. This can help you establish a stronger relationship and potentially lead to future business opportunities.
Lastly, make sure you are having fun! As esports is predominantly a digital/remote industry, you will most likely see people you have never met in person, or only ever see at these types of events, so make the most of it!
Before the event is over and once you have done all the “important” networking tasks, make sure you engage in the event stalls, activities, and make the most of your trip. I have driven F1 driving simulators, been axe throwing, played crazy golf, sang Karaoke, gotten loads of freebies, and enjoyed open bars, ha! There is loads to do, and loads of people to do them with: bonus points if you can get someone you do not know to do an activity with you, great ice breaker and amazing chance to get to know someone more personally.
Attending business events can be a valuable investment of your time and money, and these tips can help you make the most of the opportunity. By coming prepared, being approachable, listening actively, following up, and having fun, you can build a strong network that can help your esports business grow and thrive.