As things are opening up again (and fingers crossed that will include business events later this month if it’s safe to do so), I wanted to focus on a hot topic for June – networking.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing tips on how to network authentically, network etiquette, following up and some clever alternatives to business cards. But first, let’s find a networking event!
There are plenty of options out there, and they’re not all the suited and booted ones you may traditionally be aware of.
- Networking. There are a huge number of networking events out there, from all day general business expos, to niche events for particular industries or sectors. If you’re starting out, it might be worth looking at smaller, local ones first to ease your way in. You can find events like this through local Facebook groups, on Twitter, Eventbrite or if you google ‘networking events’, you’ll see a list of local ones listed. Some networking events will charge an annual fee, but there’s also plenty that will allow you to pay as you go, often just the price of a cup of tea. Local events are actually my favourite, because the relationships you build there tend to be more long-lasting and friendly.
- Child-friendly networking. Freelance Mum in Bristol runs some great events for those who are caring for children.
- Netwalking is a great option for combining networking with a beautiful walk. Natural Netwalking has quite a few popping up now.
- Create your own! If there are a few local businesses you chat with regularly on social, why not organise a small meet up at a local cafe?
- Want to dip your toe without leaving the house? Try Twitter chats and Clubhouse rooms to try out your business chat. I suspect a lot of business networking events may also continue with online events as they’re so much more accessible.
There are a few other things to consider when choosing a networking event too, which I blogged about a few years ago here.
What’s your favourite kind of networking? Is there a networking event you’ve been to that blew your mind? Tell me about it in the comments!