In all honesty, networking events can be terrifying.
Even for the most outgoing industry professional. There’s something that kicks back in your stomach when you walk into a room full of people and realize you are going to have to discuss with a good number of them.
Christine Comaford, businesswoman and serial entrepreneur said: “Networking is marketing, marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for”.
She couldn’t be more right. However, for some people, they would rather fake a seizure than meet a horde of unfamiliar faces, making small talk with them and meeting a lot of expectations on the long run.
Some people would avoid the networking session altogether. But is that really a good idea? see 7 reasons you should consider going to the next networking event you are invited to.
1. To Build Business Relationships
Networking is part of a long-term strategy; it’s about creating, building and nurturing relationships that will lead to strategic referrals, alliances, and joint ventures. New business relationships start very nicely at business networking events.
Attending the event itself is very important but it’s only the first step. The fortune is in the follow-up. Everything depends on what you do with your new found business relationship after the event. This will turn your new relationship into business opportunities.
2. To Keep Up-To-Date With Trends
When in a room with a number of people from your industry, you are bound to get talking about what has been happening lately. Attending networking events hosted by your industry members, or associations related to your target market, allows you to gain insight into current and future trends, industry challenges and potential solutions. This knowledge can easily give you a leg up on the competition.
3. To Connect With Key Influencers
It is not every day that you have an opportunity to connect with key influencers and leaders in your field. If you were to walk past them in any other setting, you probably wouldn’t stop them, however, networking events provide the environment to approach these people and have a discussion. See The remaining reason here