Sometimes you just need to step out of your comfort zone and also the safety of the groups that you currently network with and look for new connections. That is what networking should be about.
The new events I attended were a mix of stand around with a glass of wine, and a speed networking event - guess which one was of more value to building my network, yep the speed networking one! In a room of 70 people I spoke to about 35 people, collected there business cards and gave them mine. I followed up with most of them and made 4 great connections - 2 which could lead to immediate work, 1 which will lead to more networking and speaking opportunities and 1 which is just a great contact to have! The stand around and have coffee one I exchanged cards with about 5 people, followed up with all, increased my social network and well maybe one day there will be an opportunity - or I will see them at the next event and start to build trust with them?
So what do I want from networking? I want to be able to meet enough people to ensure that my time has not been wasted. I want to be able to re-connect with those who I think there might be opportunity of working together. I want to see value in the number of qualified and warm leads I can leave the room with.
If a networking event has done those 3 simple things, then for me it is of value. These for me are the highest priority events to attend, This is why I will always put speed networking at the top of my priority list for events to attend and be part of.
Come along to Speednet Ballarat's next event - follow this link to their website for more information