To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’ve invited Kathy Basheva, Head of Development at the National Association of Women in Construction and owner of Studio Basheva to share her ’10 commandments of networking’ with us.
1. You shall not judge a book by its cover: You will meet a wide range of people at MIPIM, and not all of them will find networking comfortable. Remember some people need a bit of time to come out of their shell, so be patient. This applies not only to MIPIM, but other events as well.
2. You shall keep eye contact: Eye contact is important, and there’s nothing worse than speaking to someone who’s constantly looking over your shoulder. Pay attention to the person you’re speaking to – you never know who they may introduce you to or what the conversation will lead to!
3. You shall be authentic: If you sell cups, don’t pretend that you sell crystal champagne glasses. You may be found out and you don’t want to lose face, so embrace what you do best. People like authenticity.
4. You shall give and receive: Assist people wherever you can – whether it’s helping someone find the location of their next meeting or recommending a good restaurant, it pays to help each other out. People often remember the small things.
5. You shall keep it simple: Despite the fact that you’ll be rubbing shoulders with your industry peers, don’t assume that everyone will know or understand what you do. Similarly, if you can’t explain what you do to your five year old niece, then practice and simplify your pitch.
6. You shall listen carefully: Not only will you learn something new, but you may find out that the person you’re speaking to is connected to someone you wish to meet, or that you know someone they want to meet!
7. You shall remember the person’s name: It’s professional, it’s polite and people will remember you for it.
8. You shall say something nice about the other person: Be generous and pay a compliment where it’s due. Whether it’s about their skills or delivery of a project, it helps to make the other person feel at ease and can help stimulate further conversation.
9. You shall be accessible: Speak to as many people as possible. Don’t assume that because someone is young or junior that they aren’t worth your time. Their companies selected them to attend Cannes for a reason. Give them your time because they are the rising stars of our industry.
10. You shall smile: Always!
About Kathy: Kathy established her architectural practice, Studio Basheva in London (www.studiobasheva.com) is also the head of Developing of NAWIC London & South East (www.nawic.co.uk). She is an avid networker and a MIPIM veteran and will be sharing her experience from her Twitter (@StudioBasheva) and Instragram (studio_basheva_architecture) throughout MIPIM and @nawicldn.