Networking? Send a consistent message

If your new year's plans at work involve networking at more industry events in 2012, it is important to take some time to consider your message.

This can include everything from your business publications - such as cards, flyers and brochures - to your personal appearance.

You will want to make sure that wherever you go, you create an excellent first impression and send a consistent message about your company.

Whether you network alone or in teams, a great way to present a united front is to opt for executive ties in your company's colours - or maybe even featuring a business logo.

This can be a subtle way of reminding people about the organisation you represent and could help you stand out in their minds long after the event has passed.

It is also wise to have a short 'elevator pitch' prepared in advance. This is a clear, concise introduction you can make to new contacts that tells them the basic information about you and your business.

Delivered in a confident manner, your 'elevator pitch' can be the key to building new business relationships in any networking situation.