Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
The popularity of networking is constantly growing, simply because it works.
No matter where you are and what industry you’re in, there’s bound to be an excess of events to choose from. We’re all time poor, and as much as it would be nice to go to every single event, the reality is that you’ll have to pick and choose.
With more and more networking opportunities popping up all the time, how do you know which types of networking events that are going to be worth attending?
Here are some event types that I’ve found to be worthwhile.
1. Industry specific events
Going to an event that is specific for your industry is the best place to learn from others, which is one of the many benefits of networking. Most will usually have a guest speaker for the event, and the information provided will be highly relevant to your position.
2. Roundtable events
These kinds of events are usually industry specific too. It’s a wonderful chance for you to have an open discussion with your peers that can lead to new ideas, a new direction and some motivation. You can also bounce ideas off each other and get feedback on recent projects.
3. Breakfast meetings
These are less industry specific and more location based. Held over breakfast in the morning before the standard working day kicks off, they are a nice time to network without the normal interruptions of work. You can pitch ideas and get in front of potential employers or clients.
4. After-hours events
Some events mix networking with a casual drink and nibbles. The atmosphere is more relaxed and it often makes approaching strangers a little easier. However, if you’re actively looking for a new job, go easy on the cocktails!
5. Online networking
LinkedIn is probably the best place to find online networking groups. Here you’ll be able to find all sorts of groups who fit your target market or industry niche. You’ll be able to reach a greater audience and have the convenience of doing it whenever it suits you.
If you’re not sure what kind of networking event is going to best suit you, try a few and see which ones give you the best results.
If you’re interested in a professional networking course that will teach you these skills, take a look at our next Business Networking Skills Workshop on 14th March 2017.
Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au