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How you stand at networking events, can influence who you get to meet …

by Richard Foulkes

Where do I start?

When we walk into a group situation, we look around to see who we know we can talk to or who we can start up a conversation with.

How the people in the room stand greatly affects how we can join a conversation without feeling like we are interrupting a private conversation.

In the graphic, we can see people standing alone or in groups of 2, 3 and 4.

Which groups are we likely to join and which groups are making us feel unwelcome?

Closed Twos and Closed Threes

Any group in conversation that doesn’t leave any opening for someone else to join is a closed group. The graphic shows a closed two and a closed three.

To join that group, you would feel like you are interrupting unless they open up, while you approach but even the approach may feel risky. 

A closed group can be of any number (except one!) Can you see how a closed group could make people feel unwelcome?

Open Twos – Open Threes 

Leaving room for someone to join your group is very welcoming. You can see this in the graphics.

Unless you are having a private conversation and don’t want to be interrupted, always, always try to keep a conversational group open.


Making it easy for people to join your conversation is not only good etiquette but it also means you are likely to meet more people who might become friends, clients, or referral partners.

Which is why we joined BNI!

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