Networking nightmares? We've been there.

Let’s be honest: Networking events can suck. Yes, they’re a necessary part of growing a business or expanding your professional reach, but are they really anyone’s idea of an ideal time? You could be comfortably joking around with friends who already love you; instead, you’re awkwardly dancing through conversations with strangers who may or may not just want to sell you boat insurance.

If the idea of exchanging business cards makes your neck hair crawl, I wanted you to know that you’re not alone. I asked members of the DYP executive team to share their biggest networking fears. See if you relate to their answers.


What fears have you had going into a networking event?

  • Nervousness - not knowing what to say. Ending up by myself in a corner lol
  • That I wouldn't know anyone and would revert to standing aside and scrolling through my phone.
  • People who just hand you a business card and walk away.
  • People not taking me seriously due to my age/gender.
  • I used to be scared of going alone to networking events.
  • Not knowing anyone or having to walk up to a group of people.


What "type" of person or behavior annoys you at a networking event?


  • The person that automatically signs you up for their company's newsletter without asking you.
  • People who stick only with the people they came to the event with and are not open to others joining in conversations.
  • The Suit - or the pushy salesperson.
  • People who oversell themselves or don't allow for dialogue.
  • The type of people who hang in cliques of the same people and don't welcome you.


What's a bad experience you've had at a networking event?

  • People who are dismissive when you try to network with them. For example, if someone asks "what do you do?" and it’s not up to par with them.
  • Being at the wrong networking event--not in my industry.
  • Being stuck in a conversation.
  • No format to spur collaboration and communication.
  • Saying congratulations to a woman who wasn't pregnant.


So yeah, we sympathize.

But we also wanted to do something about it, so our next event, Networking 101: The Art of Relationship-Building, will be an exploration of how to make you a better communicator in these challenging situations. Join us and get practical advice from experienced instructors with Dale Carnegie Training, which has been teaching on this subject for more than a century.

The event will be on Wednesday, March 8th from 6-8 p.m. at the new WeWork office at 1247 Woodward. Discounted tickets for DYP members. Click the link above for more information or to sign up!