"How do you want to be remembered and identified easily in a room of 400 where people can pass you business referrals and link-ups? Do the opposite. Typically, at business functions, most people wear black jackets. I'd go in my favourite all-white suit or another colour that would make me stand out. During introductions, I'll say something that would make people laugh or their eyes pop. When asked what I do for a living, I once said I was a stripper and that I’d strip you naked and tell you all you need to know about yourself and wrap you back. People usually laugh and remember me for a long time, which creates instant rapport. And, in my non-black outfit, I'm spotted easily and am linked up for an opportunity or referral.” ~ Brenda Tan, Author and Coach
"When I first started my business and wanted to get leads, I would go to job interviews for digital marketing positions. After I passed the first round I would convince the interviewer that he would save more money and get better solutions by becoming my client rather than hiring me or anyone else full time. I got a few clients that way and it was a good tactic because I was always pitching to people who were already fishing for my services!” ~ Taisuke Yamamoto, Founder and Managing Director, Geezerbuild
"We deliberately chose to display our name on the introduction slide as ‘F#$K£%’ during a pitch at a startup event and it piqued people's interest. We then clarified that we were presenting FreightKart and that it had nothing to do with what was going on in the audience’s minds. This got us a few laughs and several people remembered my co-founder and me as a result of the incident. Best of all, we used ‘F#$K£%’ Pitch’ as the subject line in our follow-up emails to all those we had met at the event and got a positive reply from all of them. Being able to make an impression, which can be used to engage with people afterwards in a succinct way, is the learning we took away from our experiment.” ~ Abbas Vakharia, Co-founder, FreightKart
"'You look familiar... have I seen you in a movie or TV show?' I meet hundreds of people a month at my seminars and some may look familiar, but I can't recall where I've met them. So I use this as an opener sometimes when I speak to them after the seminar.” ~ Cayden Chang, Director, Mind Kinesis Management International
"'The best relationships are forged over a bottle of Belvedere. That's a true story. I met my current regional business partner while partying at The Butter Factory.” ~ Jonathan Chew, CEO, Livefitter
"At my first networking event, I was so nervous that I was shaking when I stood up to introduce myself and I knocked over a glass of red wine...all over the white tablecloth! I confessed that I was nervous and although I was very embarrassed, lots of people came up to me after that to tell me that they were nervous too. It humanised the whole experience and made me a memorable person, even if it wasn't the first impression I was going for.” ~ Gina Romero, Managing Director, The Athena Network Singapore
"When we first started the business, I invited myself onto a radio show by writing to the producer. Yes, I did end up getting on the show.” ~ Violet Lim, CEO of LunchClick and Co-founder of Lunch Actually
The next time you're at a networking event, you might want to try one of these tricks or even come up with your own. Who knows, it might help foster a long and fruitful business relationship.