If you’re of the mindset that business networking is a waste of time in the digital economy, think again!
Traditional networking continues to be a vital tactic for businesses of all sizes, no matter their industry. What makes the difference is how the networking session is put together, because so many organisers get it wrong.
If you’re invited to attend a business networking session at 10:30am on a Tuesday, or 3pm on a Friday, you’d be forgiven for letting it pass. That’s why evening networking is one of the best ways to meet people in your industry without disrupting your day.
Here’s five benefits of evening networking events:
An evening networking event allows you to get the working day done, finish replying to emails, assess your tasks for tomorrow and relax.
Sure, a trip to the pub or evening meal with the family might be the first thing on your mind, but, occasionally, a bit of networking once the home time bell chimes is a great, alternative way to wind down after a hard day’s graft.
Evening events are inherently more relaxed because of the time of day. People are winding down but still partly in work mode, which is the perfect cocktail for conversations that are both commercially focused and enjoyable.
It’s one of the best ways to meet new people in business, because they’re unlikely to have any kind of guard up and will already be settling into their leisure time personality. Often, that’s when you get to see the real person, rather than someone who puts on a front when in ‘business mode’.
When you’re more relaxed at networking events, it doesn’t really feel like work. Of course, you’re there for business reasons, but when the time is spent outside of operating hours, you won’t feel the pressures of the working day.
This might make you more approachable for others and you’ll probably find that the topic of work only arrives long after you’ve discussed a shared interest outside of business. There’s really no better way to make new connections.
Evening networking events enable far more people to attend. An event arranged at 6pm, for example, will be easier to find the time for than one at 11am, and that means you’ll probably meet more people from a much wider range of businesses and backgrounds.
Networking isn’t just about business. So many people who regularly attend evening networking events report that they meet future friends, too - not just business associates and customers.
There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, what better way to meet a new friend than find someone who works in the same industry as you? Remember - that friendship will still have business underpinnings, and the more you get to know someone, the more you’ll both benefit professionally, even if you’re not overtly aware of it!
If you’ve been putting networking off because of poor timings, you’re simply looking at the wrong events. Book an evening networking session, and it’ll suddenly make a lot more sense!
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