Networking: All Dressed Up, But No Where to Go
So you’re ready to expand your network and meet new people within your industry or community. But where do you find them?
Below are some tips on how to find local networking activities in your area:
Check your local newspapers, magazines and websites. Grab a business newspaper or a trendy local magazine, whichever suits your needs. All of these typically include event calendars with descriptions of upcoming gatherings and details of how to register.
Trade Organizations & Clubs
If you’re not already a member, consider joining an association or club of like-minded people. I regularly attend meetings hosted by the American Society for Training & Development, MBA Women International, National Association of Women Business Owners, National Speakers Association, and many more. These are just examples of what’s relevant for me and my business, but search for groups that represent your industry. And if you’re a recent graduate, be sure to join a young professionals group in your town that focuses on networking as well as personal and professional development.
Lunch with Partners
You’re already working with people at other organizations who are in your field, but have you ever met them in person or spent any one-on-one time with them talking about things other than deadlines? Invite them to meet for lunch and have an informal, informational interview to learn more about how they conduct business.
Find a Super-Connector
We all know that person who seems to know EVERYONE in town. Talk to her! Ask to meet for coffee and request her help connecting you to other people of interest. I promise these outgoing people will be happy to connect you, because helping is in their genes!
Now go get ’em! And watch for our future blog on how to measure the value of your networking efforts and decide what’s worth it, and what’s not!