Too Many Networking Event Invites? When is it worth your Time?
By: Matt Edstrom
CMO of GoodLife Home Loans
#1 Identify Your Purpose for showing up:
One of the most critical aspects of obtaining value from networking events is identifying what you have to gain. Recognizing your weaknesses is an effective way to identify how you can benefit from a networking event. Pinpointing areas of improvement in your business model can aid in discovering what takeaways you should seek out. Once you’ve identified where you have room for growth, whether it be operational, managerial, or even personal you’ll be able to identify what you have to gain. Identifying areas for growth can assist in deciding which events will be most beneficial. If technical aspects are your bread and butter, but interpersonal communication is your weakness, seek out the latter. Once you’ve recognized what you need to learn or improve on, being excited and motivated for your event should come naturally.
#2 Build Relationships:
Business professionals need to be reminded of why the best business relationships are built on trust and accountability. By placing these values at the forefront of your mind, you’ll be motivated to familiarize yourself with attendees personally before seeking out a business relationship. Getting to know attendees before trying to build a business relationship will help you decide to recognize the value of building relationships in relation to developing their careers. Before attending a networking event, take time to think about the values you would seek out in a co-worker, business partner or employee. By focusing on what values are important to you, people are sincerely aligned with your values and business ethics. If not, you should decide if it is truly the best idea to make future business decisions together.
#3 Get Out of Your Comfort Zone:
Truthfully, if attending a networking event isn’t pushing you outside of your comfort zone, then you likely aren’t benefiting from it. If the idea of attending a networking event alone makes you nervous, then that is exactly what you should be doing. Going to networking events alone may spark a sense of excitement, even if it is accompanied by nerves. Excitement and nerves are better than boredom or absent-mindedness. By attending networking events outside of your normal social circle, you may find yourself more receptive to new ideas and with a refreshed sense of energy.