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What exactly is networking events about?

Do you consider yourself to be an entrepreneur?  Or maybe you like to keep active networking and meeting people within different industries. Networking can mean different things to different people. The most recognised understood meaning of a networking event is a socioeconomic business activity by which groups of like-minded businesspeople recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities. Networking is valuable for getting a lead on a job, gathering information, or connecting with people in your dream company. Most of us are not born networkers. 

Why go to a networking event?

Going to a networking event is a career investment. Here are 10 reasons why you should attend a networking event:


1. To increase your visibility.

Establishing top of mind awareness is critical in any marketing campaign, and make no mistake about it, attending business networking events is a key marketing strategy if done properly. One of the most important elements—and one of the most overlooked—to getting the biggest bang for your networking buck is to make sure your face and your message get in front of the same—and the right—people on an ongoing basis.


2. To start relationships that will lead to strategic alliances, joint ventures, and referrals.

Contrary to popular belief, very few people walk away from a few hours spent at a business networking event with a fistful of contracts. Meeting people at the networking function is merely the important first step towards reaching your client attraction goals. It's what you do after the event that is more important. Follow-up is key to deepening the relationships that will increase your bottom line.


3. To stay current on trends in your industry (and those of your target market).

Attending networking events given by your professional association—or associations related to your target market—allows you to glean information about current and future trends. The information you gather at these functions can easily give you a leg up on your competition.


4. To become connected to key influencers in your industry and within your target market.

Instead of going to every business networking event in town, select the networking events you attend wisely and attend regularly. Do some research. Find out which organizations attract the people you want to meet and you will get the biggest return on your investment of time, money, and energy.


5. To learn from and to be motivated by powerful speakers.

Many business networking events have speakers who are experts in fields that will be of interest to you and to your target market. In addition to imparting important information, many of these speakers can often be the spark that jolts you into action.


6. To find suppliers and solutions to your problems.

Most people think of networking events as a place to pursue business. Equally important though, is the fact that we might be able to give business to other attendees and solve some of our problems at the same time. Networking events can be a great place to find accountants, printers, salespeople, etc. for yourself and your clients.


7. To hone your marketing message.

Use business networking events to practice and refine your elevator speech. Make sure it conveys in 30 seconds or less what solutions you provide, for whom you provide them, and the benefits of doing business with you. Practice, practice, practice until you feel confident that you are conveying your message in the most powerful and compelling way.


8. To socialize.

Human beings are social animals and need the type of stimulation available when interacting face-to-face with others. Today, as more and more people work out of their attics, basements, or spare bedrooms, it has become increasingly important for us to socialize, recharge our batteries, and preserve our sanity.


9. To recruit talent.

If you are looking to expand your business and hire staff, business networking events are a good starting point for your exploration of the marketplace. You will be able to enter into conversations with potential employees and get clear on what your needs are. You may well find what you are looking for right in front of you!


10. To uncover the "hot buttons" of your target market.

To deliver powerful solutions that will make life easier for members of your target market, you've got to know what challenges they face and what they are looking for. Capitalize on the conversations you have at business networking events to uncover what makes prospective clients tick and what ticks them off. Then create products or services that will alleviate their pain and make you a hero/ine in their eyes.