Large, traditional business networking events are a time-honored institution. They have been a staple of aspiring and successful professionals for so long that most networking advice focuses not on whether you should attend, but on how to make the most of these events when you do attend. In theory, they’re one of the best ways to grow your business.
The most basic problem with traditional networking events is that they are mixing bowls for professionals who are there for different reasons. Everyone there is focused on his or her own personal agenda, whether it’s signing a new client, creating awareness for their business, or connecting with someone in the hopes of developing a mutually beneficial relationship. Everyone is playing a different game, which is why there are usually no clear winners.
Too many professionals are quick to attend yet another networking event, when in reality, they should be spending that time focusing more on their existing relationships.
Derek’s definition of “networking” is any activity that increases the value of your network or the value you contribute to it. The best way to do this is to avoid traditional networking events almost entirely.
There are more efficient and effective ways to spend your time. In this blog, Derek Coburn describes three networking strategies.