Networking events are synonymous with meeting new people and making opportunities. Though some people think these events are a waste of time. Some businessmen perceive these events only to hand out business cards.
Unlike any other events, networking events are sometimes worth the investment of time. While others are, a complete and utter waste.
This article will discuss networking events. It will also show the pros and cons of attending such networking events. This will be your guide to figuring out: Are networking events worth it?
What are Networking Events?
Networking events provide opportunities for professional groups to meet together and form connections. The event’s characteristics depend on the organisers. Some are casual and give participants time to chat. Others are more structured and might feature a lecture or presentation.
Why Networking Events Are Worth It: The Pros
Many argue, networking events are worth it because it gives you the opportunity to meet new people.
Large conferences and roundtable events help you expand connections. However, you’ll need to nurture it over the long term. While smaller or company-based events like happy hours and brunches are good for connections with co-workers.
Here are some pros that come from it:
Through networking events, you’ll be able to meet and build relationships with people. Moreover, some might share a similar client base. A 2016 survey by Lou Adler, CEO, and Founder of Adler Group, states that 85%t of all jobs are filled via networking.
These events allow you to join a supportive network of like-minded individuals. Likewise, establish a referral network to increase your resources.
Learn New Business Strategies
Networking events are worth it because you’ll find more business options. When people share their experiences, you walk away with new insights.
These events can help you refine ideas and execute them more efficiently. Furthermore, you get advice or ideas from experienced clients.
Gain a Sense of Accomplishment
Through these networking events, you’ll build a network of reputable suppliers. You’ll develop confidence in presenting yourself and your business. This will provide you with a sense of accomplishment.
Such events also direct you to several business opportunities. So approach all of your networking activities with a positive outlook and an open mind. They can all provide valuable lessons on what to look for in the future.
Improve Communication Skill
Networking events are suitable for making new contacts. It allows you to expand your contacts if you’re trying to meet new people. These events are fantastic for reconnecting with people you already know.
You improve your communication skills when you meet new people. The unstructured nature of meeting new people compels you to come out of your shell. People will respond positively if you take the initiative and engage them in conversation.
Find Partnership Opportunities
Through networking events, you may find individuals who share similar ideas and business goals. You can use the opportunity to find new, exciting partnership directions from the events. Partnerships help to share skills, knowledge, and abilities.
Networking events help you meet new people. However, some argue that these networking events are not worthy. These events are a waste of time as they don’t lead to any tangible results.
Here are the cons to consider when assessing if networking events are worth it:
A Stage for Acquiring Capital
Most of the networking events are filled with start-ups looking for early-stage capital. Some entrepreneurs create an algorithm or app and attend these events. While they may have created something useful, they are not a business yet. These apps or business ideas aren’t considered products or services and don’t have any sales.
These entrepreneurs look for business partners to invest in their business ideas. As these entrepreneurs don’t have prior experience, such business deals may be risky.
Not a Suitable Place for Introverts
Networking events aren’t your fit if you’re an introvert. It’s often hard for an introvert to engage in small talk. Some also get social anxiety when being around people. These introverts frequently fail to mingle with new people. Consequently, they find it difficult to strike up meaningful conversations at such events.
The development of new relationships takes time and isn’t always immediate. You may find several new Facebook and LinkedIn friends through networking. Yet, it’s hard to maintain the relationship. If you don’t adequately follow up after a networking event, it won’t be successful in generating new networks as anticipated. This is why follow-up actions are essential while maintaining relations after an event.
Events are Expensive
Networking events aren’t cheap. The organisers rent a venue, pay staff, order catering, and manage PR materials. These aren’t cheap at all. As a result, you pay a significant amount of money to attend such events.
If the event is a flop, it might be worse for you because you invested money in it. This may discourage you from attending future events.
Poor Turnout of Attendees
There’s never a guarantee that everyone will attend the networking event. If organisers fail to acquire a proper marketing strategy, the event might not be successful. Consequently, there might not be enough people at the event. This will hamper your ambition to network with people.
So, Are Networking Events Worth It?
There’s no final answer to whether networking events are worth it or not. After all, these events can be useful, but can sometimes be a waste of money and time. Knowing how to tell the difference is the key.
You probably can’t avoid all bad networking events. Though, you can certainly do your due diligence to identify the ones with the most potential.
Do you want to learn more? Then check out these 8 tips for attending such meetings.