Tips for Working a Mixer

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Knowing What to Look For Will Help You Use Business Events to Your Advantage

Effective networking at a business event or mixer is an important skill, but many times when entrepreneurs attend a networking mixer, they have a difficult time reading the crowd and knowing when and where to get started.

Being able to assess the room is an important beginning for the process. You'll find that people stand with their bodies clearly indicating whether or not they're open to having someone approach and join them or not. In other words, literally look for "open" vs. "closed" groups.

Notice when two people are standing parallel to one another with their shoulders squared off in a way that doesn't make it easy for anyone to enter the conversation. That's what I mean by a "closed two" group. Being able to read any size crowd and gauge when to come into a group of two, three or more people who are networking is an acquired skill. If you aren't able to learn this concept, you might be destined to attend event after event and finally make the presumption that networking events aren't a good way for you to make connections or develop new networking partners.

This couldn't be further from the truth. You must put yourself out there into the mix for it to work. I like to say, "Networking is a contact sport." In order to make those connections, you need to successfully gauge the warmth of the smaller gatherings of people at the mixer.

By utilizing the analogy of open and closed threes, you'll find that the next networking mixer you attend will be more profitable, as well as more enjoyable!

BNI ( is a referral networking organization, which at last count had over 3,600 individual chapters in 22 countries worldwide. BNI's Founder & CEO, Dr. Ivan Misner is the author of several book’s including the NY Times best-seller, Masters of Networking, ( and the recently released #1 best-seller, Masters of Success (


Michael Drew



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