Business networking mixers are important to the long-term professional and entrepreneurial success of most individuals. These events provide a relaxed atmosphere to chat with like-minded people, and the conversations that happen there can lead to career opportunities, and potential ways to collaborate.
Yet networking is more than just self-promotion or trying to grow your business. Its true purpose is to expand your network of friends, connections, and customers. Networking events are a great opportunity to practice and refine your sales pitch, and start relationships that will lead to strategic referrals, alliances and cooperation.
Finally, networking is about building and nurturing relationships, gaining credibility and trust, and showing off your professionalism, knowledge and expertise. Going to networking events gives you a closer look at future trends, industry obstacles and potential solutions. This information can in turn give you an advantage over the competition. (cognitomedia.com)
Below you will find a list of 7 great reasons to attend a networking event:
- 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. Make sure your face and your message get in front of the same people on an ongoing basis.
- Socialize – Human beings are social animals and need that 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, and recharge our batteries.
- Start Relationships – 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. Follow-up is key to deepening the relationships that will increase your bottom line.
- Connect With Key Influencers – 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.
- Stay Current on Trends – 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.
- 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.
- 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.