Ferenc Huszár is a data scientist and machine learning researcher. An article on Hubspot shared his tip on how to hone in on the most connected person in a room based on what is called the Friendship Paradox. Given the limited time we have at most networking events, the benefit of being able to do so cannot be underestimated.
According to the friendship paradox, in any network there are a few people who are better connected than everyone else; and it is most likely that most people you know will be better connected than you. Farenc developed this idea to figure out a way that will increase one’s chances of meeting the most connected person in the room.
- Pick a random person in the crowd
- Ask her or him to point you to another person they know at the event; and then go and talk to that person.
According to Ferenc, with the law of probability working in your favour, it is quite likely that you will be connected with someone who is very well connected. If, by chance, on talking with that individual you realise that they are not the best person for you to be talking to, you can ask them to point out someone else they know (apart from the first person who had directed you to begin with). The person they will guide you to is quite likely to be another better connected individual.
Of course it will also help if you are able to get a list of the attendees and can research them before the networking event. It will help you to identify a few people who might be the most valuable for you to connect with.
Using these strategies will help you make the most of your time and effort at any networking event and maximize your chances of building connections that will add value.
Do you have any such strategies? Do share them in the comments below.