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Business Cards and Networking

So you now have your business cards (see post for ideas) and you have been to a few networking events (see post for tips) you will be finding one of several things:

“Getting involved in the events industry is really easy”

“Getting involved in the events industry is a complete mystery and I am struggling”

“I am really not sure how much progress I am making”

Before you go celebrating or howling with despair let’s have a look at our next tip which will help you in whichever of the scenarios you find yourself in.

Stop and Have a Think

The question is how are you going to differentiate yourself from literally thousands of other students? What is it that will make you stand out?

You could say “I have my event qualification” or “I am great with people” or “I am really passionate about the industry.” All good statements but none of those will differentiate you so keep thinking.

You will come up with something that makes you different. If we look at what businesses do we can generate some thoughts.

How Do Businesses Differentiate?

Businesses (and let’s not forget Universities/Colleges) have to compete constantly for; income to pay salaries, for PR coverage, for client accounts and the list goes on and on. Their task is the same as yours. They have to differentiate.

They may be the largest business, the smallest business, an independent business, the place for y…. the place for x….. But whatever it is they will have identified it. If they haven’t then they will be the same as their competitors and most likely be competing on price alone (which isn’t the best place to be).

Do you want to be the same as your friends? So how are you going to follow the thinking of a business and stand out?

Think of You as a Business

Any employer will want to know why they should hire you. Why will you bring more value to their organisation than your classmate?

As we noted in our last post (networking) you should aim to soak up all the industry knowledge you can. You will then be aware of the challenges in the industry. You can then comment on issues with fresh eyes.

As far as you are concerned you need to have a look at yourself and work out how your interests/activities/special projects can now be put to good use.

If you have voluntary experience make sure to include it in your thinking. Why did you do it? How will that help you to differentiate?

What positions of responsibility have you held? When were they? What are you doing currently?

Why did you study your particular event management qualification? Why did you choose your particular college/university?

The list can go on and on but these are some ideas to stimulate your thinking. By now I am sure you can see that patterns are starting to occur which will help you differentiate yourself as a business.

Summary

This is not an easy task and if done properly will take time but it will pay dividends. This is not just about your time at the end of your qualification.

If you understand how you can differentiate yourself and the business you join then you will remain ahead of your competition.

Don’t give up as you will have times when it all feels a little unclear. But with determination you will uncover what is great about you.

I have lost count of the number of times when people have failed to describe succinctly what their business is about. I just want to make sure that you are not one of them.

Eight Top Tips

Write down your key activities/interests

Write down your specialist area(s)/positions of responsibility

Look for any patterns/stories

Look at the best examples of business differentiation

Research the events industry and understand the challenges

Don’t give up on this task

Bring the tips together to differentiate you

Remember this is a long term business activity

See Also

Differentiate your Research Project

How to Get into the Events Industry

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