Business development · 28 November 2019

Are networking events beneficial for your business?

networking events

If you’re looking to build your business profile and secure new clients or partnerships, networking events are a great and cost-effective way to do both.

In fact, Forbes states that networking is vital to the success of 78% of start-ups. Company networking is something that can help you reach more potential clients, increase business acumen and eventually attain business growth and increased profits through potential connections.

Why is there a ‘disconnect’ with networking?

connection
The power of connection: Why has networking become such a dirty word in business?

However, there is a negative stigma that attending such events. Some professionals feel that they have found many to be incredibly unstructured and daunting on the first visit. This has therefore resulted in tarnishing the reputation of attending networking opportunities in the future.

If you’re keen to build your brand but getting out and about hasn’t been top of the list recently, networking can be great for dusting off your shoes and get back in touch with what’s going on in the business world.

But, quite frankly, in my experience, if you haven’t been successful at these events, you haven’t been going to the right ones. Here are a few benefits from networking events, and why they can seriously catapult your business into new heights:

1. Refine your businesses message

Networking events are a great place to meet a lot of like-minded professionals in one space. If you’re new to the networking game and are in the process of refining your brand’s message, these events are a great place to challenge your company’s mission statement and really help you conclude your businesses open pitch.

If you offer value first, people will automatically ask what you do and what business sector you’re in.

Traditionally, on average you have about 30 seconds to convey who you are, what you do, and what sets you apart. Start with one person at a time, or even try this on friends and family beforehand and by the end of the event, I guarantee you’ll find your message polished and ready for any listening ear.

2. Make unforgettable connections

make connections
Networking provides an opportunity to make beneficial business connections.

We can all admit that the wonderful digital world and the power of social media is a great tool for elevating your business, but nothing beats the power of the human connection. There will certainly be businesses in the room that you can utilise, but others may not be the right sector for you.

In an ever-changing business climate, it is important to keep up with the target market conditions as well as overall trends in the industry. This is where networking is key, especially if your event is for professionals in your field.

One of the biggest mistakes that are made at networking events is that attendees expect to make a connection in the first minute of conversation. You wouldn’t do this in a client meeting, so why would you try it here?

If you offer value first, people will automatically ask what you do and what business sector you’re in.

It also goes against the ethos of networking as the aim is to meet and connect with others and help further your reputation. Other attendees are most likely to warm to you more or even take you seriously if your approach is authentic and honest. No doubt these connections will walk away with you in their mind and recommend you when the opportunity arises.

3. Keeping in the industry ‘know’

If you’re keen to build your brand but getting out and about hasn’t been top of the list recently, networking can be great for dusting off your shoes and get back in touch with what’s going on in the business world.

In an ever-changing business climate, it is important to keep up with the target market conditions as well as overall trends in the industry. This is where networking is key, especially if your event is for professionals in your field.

It is extremely beneficial to know your market inside out. Doing so can help support business growth as you take advantage of new opportunities or advice that comes your way. Where better to speak with professionals in your lane and pick their brains? Networking events!

What to do after a networking event?

After the event, you should always follow up with your contacts. Take business cards and accept others as this showcases yourself as a professional that has taken your meeting seriously and wants to grow a friendship or business connection organically.

Even if they’re not relatable to your business, it’s always good to have somebody in another line of industry as perhaps a contact for the future. For example, if you have met somebody who works for or sells printers, you have somebody for the future when your office printer breaks!

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Abid is an experienced business professional, having worked in the insurance industry for over sixteen years. His current position is Co-Founder of national commercial insurance business, Riverdale Insurance. But currently follows his passion through his Vice President position at Birmingham Youth’s Sports Association and is the National Director of the Pathway2Grow development.

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