Networking events connect people. They give people the freedom to communicate which is otherwise not possible. Networking is seen as an effective strategy to grow a business. Who you know is just as important as what you know when trying to maximise your success. There are countless stories of the person who did not deserve a certain position based on talent but got it anyway because of who they know.
Do you really think that networking event is worth the hype? Here are seven reasons why should you attend a networking event to see for yourself.
To keep up-to-date with trends
When in a room with a number of people from your industry, you are bound to get talking about what has been happening as of late. This provides a great opportunity to hear what trends are occurring, and areas in which others have been focusing on. Attending networking events hosted by your industry members, or associations related to your target market, allows you to gain insight into current and future trends, industry challenges and potential solutions.
It is also a great chance to understand the trends of your target market if you are attending for business growth purposes. This knowledge can easily give you a leg up on the competition.
To connect with key influencers
“It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know”. This is so true in business. If you want a really successful business, then you need to have a great source of relevant connections in your network that you can call on when you need them. Networking provides you with a great source of connections, and really opens the door to talk to highly influential people that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to easily talk to or find.
It is not every day that you have an opportunity to connect with key influencers and leaders in your field. If you were to walk past them in the street you probably wouldn’t stop them, however, networking events provide the environment to approach these people and have a discussion.
It’s not just about who you are networking with directly either – that person will already have a network you can tap into as well. So ask the right questions to find out if the person you are networking with knows who you want to know!
To increase your visibility
Going to networking events is an important marketing strategy. These give you the chance to make sure that you get your face and message in front of the right people.
If you are looking to establish long lasting business relationships, you first need to establish yourself as a networking professional that others would absolutely want to have in their network, showing up is 80% of the success you will have as a professional business networker. When others see you appear at different business networking events, their acceptance for you grows stronger and you will attract top networkers to you.
Networking is more than just a personal promotion and getting more customers. It’s really about expanding on your existing network of friends, acquaintances and customers, and leveraging on their networks.
Most networking events have you leaving with new ideas, inspiration and a sense of motivation. When you are placed in a room with people you consider achievers, it is hard not to go home and wonder what else you can be doing. Often times, these speakers will give you the boost that you need to take action.
To build business relationships
The best part about networking events is that like-minded individuals are all together in an informal environment. If your goal is to meet contacts in your industry, then you should most certainly attend a networking event. The events allow you to get to know people easier in comparison to the workplace, and are imperative in both the initial relationship building and the relationship maintaining stages.
Networking is part of a long-term strategy; it’s about creating, building and nurturing relationships that will lead to strategic referrals, alliances and joint ventures. New business relationships start very nicely at business networking events.
Attending the event itself is very important but it’s only the first step. The fortune is in the follow-up. Everything depends on what you do with your newfound business relationship after the event. This will turn your new relationship into business opportunities.
To master your message
A business networking event is a great place to be in sync with what your business stands for, it is the best place to practice and refine your business pitch. You have 30 seconds to convey who you are, what you do, what makes you different from others and why someone would want to work with you. That message needs to be the same to all. The more you listen and learn from others and the more you repeat your message, the more refined it becomes and the more polished you become.
To build your professional team
In today’s ever-changing job market, many professionals have been displaced through downsizing and are looking for a position that will take full advantage of their talents. Networking events can be a wonderful way to meet new candidates. It is a great way to gain an informal understanding of a person and decide if that person can take your business to the next level.
Credit: Australian Institute of Business, LinkedIn Pulse, Amazing Business, Business Insider, Starta