In today’s growing world, it’s not what you know, but who you know. Meeting people and building your professional network can benefit you both professionally and personally, proving just how important it is to embrace.
Networking at events is particularly beneficial for building relationships with potential customers or clients for your business. As Entrepeneur.com explains, networking is a long- term commitment, where fostering relationships with contacts can pay off, where you may find them established as a customer. Maintaining contact with connections is vital to relationship building, particularly when looking to establish a win- win relationship for both parties. The first step in this process could be sending an email of thanks as a follow up to your meeting, establishing a rapport for a beneficial business relationship.
Further your career
Another benefit to building your network is furthering your career. Talking to professionals in your industry can establish you in their mind as a potential employee, especially if you build a relationship with them, you can demonstrate your motivation and fit within the industry or company.
On the other hand, networking with more experienced professionals can provide advice for advancing your career, where they are able to offer suggestions according to their experiences. Talking to people with an alternative perspective and insight on the industry can be beneficial to enhancing your professional development, by understanding the latest trends and what is keeping people a buzz in the industry. These new found perspectives can enhance your commercial awareness, a key attribute employers look to when recruiting.
Whilst the benefits of networking are largely obvious for professional development, it can be particularly instrumental in enhancing personal development for confidence and personability. Although a large number of people network on a daily basis for their job, for many, networking instills a sense of fear and dread at the prospect of interacting with new contacts. Networking provides the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone to talk to new people. Discussing topics you are interested in can demonstrate your enthusiasm and enhance your confidence, encouraging you to network more.
Surround yourself with people who challenge you
People offering alternative perspectives, challenging your own ideas can accelerate idea creation and encourage you to consider alternative perspectives. Networking can be particularly beneficial when it comes to understanding people with differing opinions, allowing you to consider their opinion and form a more holistic view of the topic in question.
Now you know the importance of networking, here are some useful links to find out more about networking events near you:
1) Travel Gossip. Specific to the travel industry, this site offers a breakdown of upcoming events in travel, key for networking in the industry.
2) Eventbrite offer a list of networking events across the UK for different industries.
3) findnetworkingevents.com is an online guide of networking events across the UK.