How to Find Networking Events That Will Be Worthy of Your Attention
Do you consider networking initiatives helpful or a waste of time? Some people are skeptical about these gatherings and ignore them completely, while others overattend them. With such polar attitudes, the question still remains – are these events worth your time? Definitely, yes, if you approach it correctly. No matter whether you are an individual or run a company or LLC, networking is crucial to growing your connections and expanding your reach. The main purpose of a networking event is to bring like-minded professionals together and encourage them to exchange business ideas.
Networking events come in all shapes and sizes – exhibits, conferences, product launches and shows. You physically cannot attend them all. Knowing how to identify the right one for you and where to look for it, you can filter out unnecessary activities from your plans. This article will help you understand how to get the most from various networking meetings.
Benefits networking events bring
It would be fair to say that modern businesses can hardly survive without networking. These events help individuals find new professional opportunities, and businesses promote their goods and services. Even if you are just at the start of your career, you will surely glean something useful for your professional growth.
Meet experts and leaders.
You will have a chance to interact with people from different industries. Engaging in conversations with professionals with diverse backgrounds offers a unique perspective and broadens your knowledge and understanding of your niche. Furthermore, the ability to listen to your industry leaders and just be in the same space with them is an excellent experience and the ability to better understand their approach. Besides, you will surely acquire new contacts among networkers by sharing your electronic business card so they may transform into valuable business acquaintances.
Learn new tools.
Networking meetings are not limited to discussions only; they are always accompanied by informative presentations that introduce new tools, resources and industry trends. As a rule, such events become an expo floor for tons of fresh solutions. Hands-on demonstrations are hardly something you can get just browsing through the web. These are often applications that you have not even heard about or business strategies which can enable you to be better than your competitors, more efficient and organized.
Build strong business relationships.
Professional gatherings will rarely bring you together with the wrong people. Attendees mix and mingle, and this interaction is a long-term investment in one’s own social capital. It is always to find a mentor or a customer in a person sitting next to you. Such occasional meetings often evolve into valuable and long-lasting relationships. Besides, you let others know about your business, contributing to its visibility, and a simple public records search will validate that person’s credibility
Another power of networking is that it raises your confidence and motivation. Sometimes, live events may slightly break you out of your comfort zone as they encourage you to participate in discussions. But at the same time, they often break your routine way of thinking. Success stories of others are contagious and transform your business setup and plans in a positive direction. Confidence is the first step to growth.
Where to find networking events?
There are plenty of ways to stay updated about conferences and gatherings that relate to your professional activity. The digital era opens up endless opportunities for everyone – you can attend networking events offline and online, opting even for global ones. Here are a few channels to follow so as not to miss something important.
Local trade organizations
The first place to start is your local Chamber of Commerce. It actively advocates the growth of small businesses and supports networking initiatives. You will always find enough mentorship opportunities and get a chance to connect with a supportive community.
It is one of the best ways to find industry events. You can utilize platforms like Eventbrite or Meetup. These are massive websites that have sections devoted to business networking around the world. If you are looking for niche resources for specific industries – you may find AngelList useful for startups or GitHub for developers. All you need is to find a group to match your interests or even launch your own ones.
Social media networks
Big media platforms share a lot of information about diverse networking events. Many organizations in your industry are present in social media. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to follow industry blogs, newsletters, or social media profiles.
Community build ups
A community is a place where people of various professions stay connected. Getting involved in community events can help you find like-minded people and networking events. You can also work as a volunteer in such events, and assisting in community event ticketing can be a blessing to build a strong connection.
You should not underestimate the information you can source from your colleagues or friends. Even if they belong to a different business segment, they may share with you lots of valuable tips – platforms, clubs and much more. Sometimes, you can seriously benefit even from visiting out-of-industry events.
One of the effective ways to figure out where you need to go is to do research on LinkedIn. Identify companies you are interested in and follow their founders and top managers. See where they go, where they usually perform, and what they comment on. You will discover a plethora of events to attend.
How to find the event to match your expectations?
All professional gatherings are usually tailored to a specific goal. You need to determine your objectives and expectations. You may be looking for a new job or startup capital or just need to expand your client base. These few steps will help you filter out events that are not for you.
- Determine why the event is beneficial for you. If you have a specific goal, you will immediately know whether the event can help you achieve it or not.
- Research host, guests and event speakers. It is vital to meet the right people that can teach you something. There is no point in visiting a conference devoted to what you already know.
- Select the right format. Participating in a networking event presupposes active communication. Introverts may be lost at large-scale conferences, while others consider small events useless. Identify the right event to match your preferences.
Having the right marketing strategy about whom from your industry you want to connect with and what you and your business gain in the result is the key to finding an event that will be fruitful for you.
There is no doubt networking events can significantly boost your professional activity. Attending them, you acquire new connections, gain fresh knowledge, and discover new ways to grow. Interaction with professionals from your sphere is a perfect environment not only to demonstrate your business expertise but also to master new skills. However, to maximize these benefits, an event must match your goals and bring you valuable professional insights.
Try to choose events that are as relevant to you as possible. If you are looking for a job as a financial analyst, focus on conferences for financiers. If you are a dynamic marketing startup, find networking meetings for entrepreneurs or marketers. If you are a translation company, you can go to translation and localization conferences and events. Do not hesitate to experiment with alternative formats of these activities – not only offline initiatives are effective. You can consider online platforms to further diversify your business opportunities.