I spend a lot of time going to different networking events in Glasgow and the surrounding area. In PoLR I tend to carry out all the offline networking while Lynne and Calum take care of the online side. I find it useful, beneficial and worthwhile. I also enjoy the face to face contact that you get at these events. Much as I appreciate the value of online networking, I really do enjoy putting faces to names and having a good chin-wag with potential contacts and customers.
Lately though, as I try to strategise the best ones to go to, I find myself swamped with options.
Now, I’m absolutely not saying that networking events are a bad idea, I like going to them and get work from them. The thing is you can get to the point, if you say ‘yes’ to all of them, that you you have no time to do anything else! I mean, they last for a few hours usually and then there’s the travel, you could (if you wanted to) spend everyday at these things and not allocate enough time to working in other sides of your business.
The main rule of thumb would be to pick the right ones to go to. But when making an omelette sometimes you’ve got to crack a few eggs so you may end up going to some ‘poultry excuse for an event’ (he he – sorry!) in order to find the ones that suits you and your business.
Below is a list of some of the networking events that are pretty good to give you a wee start but otherwise get some toes dipped in the water and sift out the gooduns and the baduns. It’s bit like a celebrity going to the opening of an envelope I suppose, you don’t want to end up a Z-list business so have some integrity and occasionally opt out, but make the good’uns a part of your marketing strategy.
My top tip for a networking event – Enjoy yourself, be friendly and don’t just go there to sell. Your aim shoud be to make sustainable contacts not just a one off sale!