Why Some Networking Events Are Just Social Events
April 26, 2012 Leave a comment
I go to more than my fair share of networking events. Since I typically do two to four events every week, I have easily been to over 100 in the past 10 months, the time frame I have been actively networking. In the beginning, I met new people at every event. It was almost a unstated goal to walk out of an event with at least two or three new business cards. By getting to grow my network and LinkedIn profile, I figured that was the way to find work and grow my business. I know that growing my small business was not going to happen by chance or by Google. So proactively networking seemed like a logical marketing avenue.
After going to various events for a while, I started to get a little down on networking events. Why? Because I was not walking out of the events with the least two or three new business cards; mainly because I was speaking and seeing people I already met at previous events. Also, many of the events that occurred at night seemed to be more like social events hanging out with people I had previously met and enjoying a tasty adult beverage. My business was not growing and I was not getting any luck at getting any leads from the events.
Then, I saw this video from Bill Davis, of Team Nimbus of Raleigh, about networking and networking events and something inside me clicked.
In summary, here is what Bill says about attending networking events:
- Find out if there is, specifically and by name, someone who you want to meet is going to be at the event and you know someone that is going and knows them and can introduce you.
- If you don’t know someone that is going that you want to meet, invite someone you know well with the agreement that you both introduce to each other everyone you both know.
- Call someone you recently met and invite them with the idea that you are going to spend a good percentage of that time with them to grow your relationship with them.
Networking is about growing relationships, not only from a social aspect but also from a business aspect. By deepening those relationships, others will get to “know, like. and trust” you even more.
Once I started looking at networking from this perspective, my business and my connections went to another level. I am starting to get business from the connections that I have made through networking and I only expect this to grow as I continue to network with the premise of growing relationships, not just making as many connections as I can.
What are you thoughts?
–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at email@example.com.