1. Be Prepared! (Get your game plan ready.)
Do your research before attending any networking event. Check related social media or websites to develop a better understanding of your target connections and create a list of questions or items you would like to know more about. Equally important is making sure you have a clear understanding of who you are. What are your strengths, skills or talents? Like most companies create a mission statement to define their culture, values, goals and agenda, you too should also create a similar short statement essentially allowing others to have a better understanding of you. Another way to think of this is having an "elevator pitch" for yourself. Also, make sure your online profile is update-to-date whether it's your website or social profile(s).
2. Listen Deeply and Actively.
Effective networking requires a person to be a good listener. Two-way communication of actively listening helps in creating a good relationship. Don't just listen to the person in order to find ways to promote yourself or your goals. Always keep the conversation positive. This way people will know and respect you as a positive person. Never criticize other people unnecessarily. Make sure you are also just as positive about yourself as you are about others. Being enthusiastic about your future plans and sharing them with others can be really helpful as well.
3. Follow Up! (Don't meet them and then leave them.)
While it may seem like a simple task, a key step that most people forget is reaching out after a networking event. This should be done promptly (within 24hrs) after the event. You can either send an email or a phone call. Make sure to include in the conversation or email something you learn from the conversation or about yourself to ensure you stand out. And whenever the occasion calls to send a thank you note, do it. And preferably handwritten.
The songwriting and music industry is a big one! Developing your networking skills will help you stand out.