How to dress to impress at your next networking event

How to dress to impress at your next networking event
Networking is widely perceived to be the most effective and least expensive marketing method you can use to build your business, especially within your local area. Dressing for a networking event can be a minefield; do you opt for a standard suit and fade into the background or do you break away from the norm and project your brand through your choice of outfit? Here Victoria Sharp, Avanti MD, shares her tips on putting your best foot forward and how you can dress to impress.

She explains “For me, part of our USP is our colourful approach to accountancy…no grey suits here…so when I dress for a work day, I choose an outfit that I’m comfortable and confident in, that reflects my love of all things colourful but also projects the image of a competent, professional who knows her stuff. Women no longer have to conform to formal suits to be viewed as professional. Your clothes should make you feel empowered”

You have 7 seconds to make what will hopefully be a good, lasting, and professional impression, so where do you start?

Like it or not, before you utter a word you have started to create a first impression by the way you dress, and the way you carry yourself.

Avoid wearing something that you are self-conscious in, it’ll make you look awkward and you’ll most likely fidget in it.

Pam Davis MD of Ipswich based Fashion Candy Style advises “As a personal stylist, I help clients find their own authentic personal style, make the best of your image and gain confidence to achieve your professional and personal goals. Looking smart is essential when you are attending a networking event. We all know that initial appearance is important as people form a subconscious impression of you. Most networking events these days have a very relaxed dress code, as most attendees are either, going to work after the event or coming straight from work to attend. You must look smart when you are networking, but it’s important to add your own personal touches to your attire”.

Ask yourself these questions;
  • Will the room be hot or cold?
  • Should I carry a jacket or jumper?
  • Will the colours I wear show marks?

Victoria adds, “We were recently asked by a visitor to an event we were hosting, what do I wear? Our advice;

Reflect what you do, if you work within the trade industry, it would be unusual to see you arrive in a suit, so consider a branded jumper or T-shirt with smart casual trousers. Likewise, if you’re a professional who wears jeans, smarten them up with a tailored blazer. Anything goes, but remember people buy people, so make yourself approachable and marketable”

Ultimately the aim is to dress appropriately and professionally. Establish yourself as a successful person, which you can do by dressing the part. You don’t need to wear expensive clothes, but wear something a bit on the smarter side and leave the comfortable clothes at home.

Offering networking from as little as an average of £28 per month to new members (inc. joining fee), the next time you dress to impress at a business networking event, make it Avanti Networking.

To book a place at the next networking event you can contact them on 08000 388 799 or visit their website here.

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