It’s the beginning of the day and it's time for you to think on your…
Should I be attending networking events?
Yes! And here’s why…
Networking is good for you. If you dread it, then it may be a chance to reframe how you think about building your network. Think of your time with family and friends as networking, because that is where your relationship building muscles can get a work out. The core of networking is about building long term relationships and building your reputation while you are having fun, meeting new people, and connecting with those you already know. Great business networking events can make you feel like you just spent time with your favorite friends, and it will have you looking forward to your next event.
But I have a huge online network, is it really worth my time to attend in person?
Your attendance at industry events not only provides inspiration for creative ideas and the latest updates on trends, but it’s an ideal way to grow your network and strengthen your connections online. To draw on the family and friend networking example, think of how much fun it is to stay connected on Facebook or Instagram after you attend a fun social event. The same thing applies with LinkedIn or Twitter after you make a connection with a new contact at an industry event.
If One Door Closes, Open a Window
Attending events in person raises your profile and increases the chances that you will be in the right place at the right time. Yes, you have to find the right events that inspire you and provide opportunities for you to meet people who are interesting to you and have skills and information to share.
How do I find the right industry events?
Talk to your colleagues and mentors. Research the best organizations for your industry and your areas of interests. A few of my favorite networking events for the beauty biz are CEW, Cosmoprof North America and Beauty Industry Trade Shows.
Sharing Is Caring
Yes, another cliché, because it really works for networking. Networking is all about sharing of ideas, information, best practices, and lessons learned. Networking provides great opportunities for you to learn from others and to lend a helping hand to people you meet. Most people want to offer help, and you never know what assistance you may have for others. Having a support network in your business career is essential. Effective networking will build and maintain a strong support system.
Flex Your Networking Muscles
The more events you attend, the more you will feel comfortable as you will know what to expect and how best to be prepared. Take the time to debrief afterwards with your colleagues to assess the value of each event. Follow up with the connections you make, as that alone will often separate you from the crowd and build your reputation for reliability.
The most important thing is to attend with the right frame of mind, as being interested in other people is more important than thinking about being interesting yourself.
Be yourself, have fun, and get inspired. You will be find that the more events you attend, the more “friends” you will meet and the better you will feel about yourself. It is likely that you will feel rewarded because the time you took to get away from your office or computer to make that face to face connection is invaluable.
Do you attend networking events? Let us know your favorite networking tips below!