Now, What’s it to be…. Your Network or Networking Events?
Over the years networking events have gone up and down the business popularity ladder several times. There are many exponents of these networking events; any number of groups willing to take your money to facilitate groups, setting up gender specific groups, industry specific groups or just a random group. The Tweet Up seems to be flavour of the month just now.
Business experts, books, seminars, blogs and training sessions have mushroomed to fill the seemingly insatiable appetite from business owners for networking gems.
But why isn’t it top of our minds all of the time? Why is it that you see the same people at every event; the same ‘speakers’ are doing the rounds saying the same things. I could go to one every morning, lunchtime and evening but then I wouldn't have a business left! The answer is probably because we've tried it out several times and just haven’t managed to connect with the right type of networking groups.
For me, the important bit that everyone seems to overlook is that your existing network is infinitely more important and valuable than networking at events.
Everyone has a network – lots of people just don’t recognise that they do – but it’s there!
So how do you maximise your network? It takes a little time to set it up and with some regular proactive action it will build, grow and return you great rewards.
A few of my clients have set up their own network groups. They are closed forums made up of like-minded people who meet 3 or 4 times a year for face to face time but are ‘close enough’ to each other and able to ask for or provide help when needed. They have their own rules and are a ‘safe’ arena in which to test out theories, learn from others, ask for help or just download a problem and find a solution.
Related Article: ‘It’s not what you know’ has some more networking tips.
How do you manage your own network and how has it helped you?
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