6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.
This game was made up by a few students, and is based off of the idea that nobody is ever more than 6 degrees of separation from anyone else. To play, you just need to link any other actor to Kevin Bacon through 6 or less shared productions. Now, thanks to the internet, you can go to oracaleofbacon.org and find any actor’s bacon number.
This concept should be with you no matter where you go, since networking is still one of the most important, and hardest, aspects of business. The biggest error that I see people make at networking events is looking to see what they can get out of it. Taking this approach is not going to get you very far. A good networker is always looking to see how they can help someone else out, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to make an introduction that might be synergistic between two people.
A great example that happened to me last month happened at a happy hour networking event. I showed up and met around 15 people, all of whom had no need or desire to hire me for my services; however, despite this, it was one of the most beneficial networking events that I have attended this year. That is because a head hunter that I met at the event gave me the contact information for a web designer he knew. I met the web designer and got coffee with him, and he then invited me to a closed networking group that was in need of a marketing person. This then set up a large, synergistic referral network for me to gain new business, and refer new business to others in the group.
One of the best networkers I know has a goal to make 5 new introductions a week. This is quite the ambitious task, but is a great way to build relationships for those around you. This is how you can become one of the best networkers around. Help other people without expecting them to do anything in return.
When you are networking, (hint! This should be always!) just keep front of mind “what can I do for you?” and you will succeed.