Networking is an essential part of being an entrepreneur. Knowing how and where to forge new connections and use them to your own advantage is a vital skill. Not everyone is great at speaking in public and putting oneself out there, but sometimes it is unavoidable. Networking is an essential tool for promoting your business and creating new opportunities. That is why knowing different types of networking events is crucial for your company.
In this article, you’ll learn about different types of networking events and how to choose the most effective ones for you. For more insights from experienced entrepreneurs, sign up for our EWOR Platform and gain access to over 17 courses and a plethora of resources.
What Is Networking in Business?
Networking is a process of establishing relationships with people or companies that can benefit one or both sides. It is a way to find opportunities to stimulate growth in one’s business. Networking allows widening one’s circle of acquaintances to develop professional relationships and learn new skills. Moreover, it can help your company thrive in the future.
Networking events are gatherings of professionals that allow you to meet new people, usually experts in the field, and connect with them. If you are curious whether such events are worth your time, check out Are Networking Events Worth It For You.
Types of Networking Events
No matter where you are, you can always choose a variety of networking events in your area. Of course, you can try and visit all of them, but it takes time. Most likely, choosing a couple of them will bring you a similar result and save you time. For more information about how to network as an entrepreneur, check out this article.
Going to conferences is a great chance to meet like-minded people. They are usually organised by an industry-specific organisation. You can learn about the latest trends there and meet keynote speakers.
Trade shows allow people to present their services and products. They are usually held at large, spacious places like expo centres, hotels and convention centres. Trade shows can last up to several days and are usually held in booths. You can talk to representatives of different companies in person and ask them any questions you might have. Quite often, trade shows are also organised during conferences.
Sometimes it is impossible to attend the desired event in person due to a busy schedule. That is why virtual events are also a popular type of networking. Using social media and websites, a group of people can discuss various topics. Moreover, video conferencing where an expert gives a presentation is also quite common. At the end of such a session, the organiser of the event can also have a Q and A session, in which everyone is welcome to participate.
Lectures in college or university are also great places to meet new people as well as learn something new. Various institutions invite professionals and experts in the field to share their knowledge and experience. Moreover, a lot of such lectures are also available online.
Round tables are a common networking method within a company. Employees and various experts share one table, where they can discuss different topics. It is a great place to share your opinion and learn the perspective of other people. Roundtable meetings aim to have discussions in a close circle. It requires more attention from its participants than just a lecture you might hear at any other place.
Breakfast meetings are usually organised early in the morning before work starts. Sometimes they can be held in a nearby restaurant or your office. It is a fun and creative way to connect to other people in a friendly atmosphere. Sometimes an organiser of the breakfast meeting can invite a speaker to share their valuable experience to make it not only fun but also informative.
Speed networking is a way to connect to people fast, similar to speed dating. During such events, you will meet with professionals one-on-one for a limited amount of time. You can ask questions, prompt a discussion on any topic you like, and share contact information if you want to connect in the future.
Workshops are great places to exhibit skills and expertise. Most often, they focus on a specific subject or skill. During a workshop, you may watch presentations or have interactive sessions. Workshops usually last longer than a conference or a lecture and can take up a whole day.
Happy Hour Meetings
A happy hour meeting is a casual way to connect and share opinions. The organiser of the event usually books places at a bar or a restaurant for a group. During that time, the group can have drinks and appetizers, while talking to experts in the field. It is also a great way to get to know your colleagues at a more personal level.
Career fairs are great for people who look for a job. Numerous companies are offering positions at their companies to fill their job offerings. It is often organised by universities and colleges to help their students and alumni find jobs.
Webinars are online conferences that you can join from the comfort of your home. The benefit of this type of networking is that you don’t need to travel abroad or wait for ages for someone to come to your country. With just a click of a mouse, you can attend numerous webinars in any place around the world. You can ask questions, participate in discussions, as well as use private chats to get to know people better.
How To Find Networking Events?
Finding networking events can seem like a difficult task, but in reality, it is quite simple. You most likely already know someone who visits such events, so just ask around. Your friends, family, colleagues, or even your boss can help you find the next networking event. Another important tip is to use social media and industry-specific platforms. You can also try networking websites like Meetup, Eventbrite or even LinkedIn. Finally, just checking your emails can help you find networking events near you.
How To Choose the Right Networking Event for You?
With so many types of networking events, it can be difficult to choose which one is right for you. That is why it is important to pay attention to the following tips.
- Choose an event that matches your career objective
- Decide what you need to learn
- Define target audience
- Find an event that helps you grow
Networking is a great way to expand your circle of acquaintances, learn new skills and forge new connections. Finding a networking event that aligns with your goals and dreams can help you achieve them even faster. Knowing different types of networking events and choosing the right ones can benefit you and your career.