One of the most frustrating things, specifically in a facilitated or semi-facilitated networking meeting is the stragglers coming in.
Imagine the scene if you will – a person is standing up, telling everyone about who he/she is and what it is that they do. How wonderful their product/service is and why it is that people should be purchasing said product and/or service from them. Everyone in the room is focused on what this person is saying and hopefully, either deciding that they need the widget and/or they know of someone who may require the services of the speaker.
In the middle of all of this another person enters the room. So far not a problem I am sure that you would agree. The room is packed though, and said person wants to slink into the only remaining seat which is clear across the room. So there is much “excuse me’s” going on with much bending over and head bobbing, whilst they find the seat that they are looking for and finally settle in.
By this time the speaker has lost their thread and momentum, the rest of the networker’s have lost their focus and have forgotten the questions that they wanted to ask – the moment is lost.
If possible make sure that you can get to the venue on time, if not a little early. Before anyone heaves a huge ‘sigh’ and rolls their eyes heaven bound – I know that no-one intentionally wants to be late, but then for goodness sake, use a little bit of common sense – wait until the person who is talking about themselves is finished and either steps down and/or sits down – there is time enough at this point to dash off to the seat in the corner that you now have had time to see. This will cause the least amount of interruption and allow the speaker to say what it is that they need to.