27. December 2012–
The startup scene is awash with parties and networking events, some of which yield some well-known characters. Here Connor Murphy, co-founder and CEO of DataHug, and seasoned networker, uncovers some of his favourite tech networking types. Read on to see if you recognise anyone…
Tipsy techies pitching each other in corners. Rabid salesmen stalking unwary revellers. The tech world offers few greater horrors than a technology networking event disguised as a party. To ease the pain, here’s the Datahug guide to the nine types of tech networker.
The Social Climber
A power networker, who appears engaged in the conversation, but surreptitiously scans the room over your shoulder. He sees any gathering as an animated organisation chart and will walk off mid-sentence if he spots someone higher up on the totem pole.
A monomaniac who harangues you endlessly on his pet subject like a dog worrying a bone. He is entirely blind to social cues, never realising that nobody else has said a word for 10 minutes and that you are desperately seeking an exit.
A cadger who parks himself by the kitchen door to get first access to the shrimp hors d’oeuvres or at the open bar pouring as much free drink down his throat as is humanly possible. He sees any networking event as a free booze-up and alternative to dinner.
A group of people who work together, and therefore see each other every day, but are still found in a huddle at an event, chewing over the latest office gossip. They cast a cold eye on all “outsiders” and never meet new people.
A 24-hour salesman who traps you in the corner so you have no option but to listen to his elevator pitch. He will persist in making the pitch in a violent fashion until you give up and accept it.
The Invisible Man
The oddball hiding behind the Christmas tree who doesn’t speak to anyone. His presence doesn’t perforate your consciousness at all except when you fleetingly wonder why he is there.
A scorekeeper who turns networking into a competitive sport, he values quantity over quality. He will drop his haul of business cards on his assistant’s desk back at the office and end up with 25 new contacts in SalesForce but no new relationships.
A human whirlwind who checks his email while trying to conduct five different conversations. He generates a prodigious quantity of tweets and status updates from any event but is never fully engaged in any one interaction.
The rare relationship-builder who wants to understand others and make a meaningful connection with them. He has clear networking goals but is also respectful of emotional cues. The Architect is a facilitator who can neutralise the obsessives and the pitch-drills, engage the invisible men and introduce people to the coterie. The ideal Christmas event guest.