What is "networking"?
As Wikipedia says, it is a socioeconomic business activity by which businesspeople and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognise, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures.
There are so many networking events, seminars, courses, conferences - Twitter, Facebook are overflowing with details and venues. The opportunities are there, however not all people see and understand the benefits of networking.
Whether you are an employee or (and especially!) a business owner - it's good to know the top 5 benefits of networking events and seminars:
1. Business expansion and lead generation.
Some of those you meet will become your clients, some will bring you referrals, and for some you will be a client. It's great to team-up with others and expand your business.
2. Connections and friendships.
Set a goal to leave the venue with at least 5 business cards, follow-up within the next 3 days, meet for a coffee and build relationships. You never know, you might start a new venture together or become really good, supportive friends!
Your business only performs as good as your knowledge. Not necessarily education - you can have a PhD, but without a business mindset it won't be enough. At any event there are speakers who have already achieved something, and they are educating others.
4. Raising the awareness of your brand.
Business cards, leaflets, the pen you are writing with and a notepad - in addition to yourself - all of that is a part of your company's branding. The more you appear to various people, the more of them will speak to you. You might get a picture published in a magazine, or meet a radio presenter who might mention your company name the very next day on their show!
5. Building you confidence.
When you start your own business venture it feels very lonely and scary at the very beginning, - unless your family and friends are very supportive and run their own companies already! Every time you have to stand up and do your pitch, every time you talk about your business, your confidence will have a great boost! You will be told how amazing, interesting, and lucrative your business idea is - that will give you so much inspiration and motivation!
As you can see, all of the above benefits will only help you! So go on, just find some networking event right in your area (start locally!) and enjoy every minute of it!