No matter what industry you’re in, or what stage in your professional journey you’re at, the connections you form through networking will be key to your success. Networking isn’t just a way to secure new business, or for recruitment, it’s also about building a foundation, developing links that can pay off in unexpected ways and often last years. That’s why it’s essential to make sure you’re making the most of the networking opportunities that exist, and that begins with understanding exactly what is out there, and how you should be taking advantage.
The modern business world is one that is truly global, however even with the rise of social media and digital technologies, making those international connections your business needs can prove difficult or expensive. This is what makes International Business Forums so vital. If you’re looking to break into a new market, develop an international relationship, or you need suppliers in a different location, then these forums give you direct access to make those all-important face to face connections.
There are also a number of dedicated international global networking groups, with organizations such as BNI that have chapters throughout the world. These groups will often have yearly global events that bring people from different locations and sectors together.
Seminars And Conferences
Networking isn’t just who you know, it’s what you know. You need to be clued into all the latest developments and trends within your field or sector, and seminars and conferences give you a direct link to that. By attending one of these events, you can help gather the ideas and influences that will steer the direction of your future academic or professional endeavors. They are also a great way to stay ahead of the curve, keeping in the loop with the latest developments and future projections.
They can also be a tremendous way to meet people within your area of expertise, and even to showcase your own skills and talents if you’re lucky enough to be invited to speak at an event. By surrounding yourself with people working in the same area as you, you have a chance to form organic networking connections that are relevant to your professional interests.
Exhibitions And Screenings
For any artist or creative, your work is as important as you are, and this means being able to promote and network it in the same way you would in the business world. For filmmakers festival and other screening can be a great way to generate buzz, or even sell to a prominent studio. The same is true for artists, exhibitions attract investors and critics, and help you make a name for yourself. They can also be a way to find room for new collaborations and ventures, whether it’s a shared project, finding someone to cast, or simply finding a new agent to help you promote your career.
Trade Shows, Fairs, And Expos
Trade shows, fairs, and expos are ideal places for networking within your industry. It isn’t just products that are being showcased, it’s people and companies. And it can be a great chance to make targeted and specific connections that you know will further you or your business. Likewise, they are also a tremendous nexus for recruitment networking, whether you’re looking to land that crucial postgraduate role, or improve the talent at your company.
In the world of literature and film, festivals are the true selling markets. With the biggest and most buzz worthy events attracting publishers and studios from across the industry. Networking at these events is as much about selling your personal brand as it is your portfolio, by making an impression and developing personal relationships, you can position yourself for long-term success. Festivals are also important for developing creative networks, joining editors, writers, actors, and other creatives with shared ideas or personalities can be a fantastic way of developing new works and concepts.
Parties And Social Events
It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you live in a major city then chances are the people you want to know in your professional life will be attending the same parties and events as you. Networking isn’t just targeted, it’s organic, you never know what may happen as a result of a chance encounter. And it can never hurt to know someone you can recommend if anyone comes looking to you for a specific connection.
There is also a busy social calendar of events dedicated specifically to networking. These events can be targeted at specific demographics or industries, and are often informal affairs. The most common examples include evening socials, coffee morning, and large lunches.
A Little Help With Planning Your Event
Entertainment events for every taste and personality, involving the very best in gigs, exhibitions, open mics and more! Posting an entertainment event isn’t just for organisers, Good To Network can be a great way for artists and performers to organize and promote themselves, cutting out the middle man and connecting to their audience.
Exhibitions And Screenings
If you’re still in the planning stages, we have a handy guide on the key areas you need to be thinking about :
Your event needs to have a clearly defined purpose, one that takes into account three key questions :
For example, if you’re setting up a networking brunch for people working in digital marketing you would answer :
This event is about making professional connections in a casual social environment
My event is for people working within or looking to make connections within, the digital marketing sector
It’s a great chance to make networking connections on a personal, face to face level, and enjoy a delicious brunch at the same time!
Having a clearly defined purpose doesn’t just enable you to curate the best event possible, it makes it easier for your target audience to find you.
Your format needs to be one that is suitable for your purpose, you need to consider how structured the event needs to be, whether it’s a formal or casual setting, the number of people attending, and much more.
Always be realistic when it comes to planning your budget, you know how much you can afford to spend, and you may need to prioritize if that doesn’t cover everything. First, ask yourself what do I need to make this event a success, and then ask yourself what would I like to have at the event. Always prioritize the needs first.
Additionally, for many events, there can be a number of avenues for securing alternative funding. Whether that’s through crowdfunding, finding sponsorship, charging for entry or more innovative options.
The venue is hugely important, not just for logistics and budget—you need somewhere that you can afford and that is suitable for the crowd you’ll be drawing. It also helps set the tone for the event, and creates a distinctive atmosphere. Think about this, and the impression you can create through your venue choice. There are moments that call for a sleek conference center, or a grand ballroom, or even a trendy bar or pub.
Set A Date And Time
Consider your audience, not just in terms of accessibility, but also in terms of what times and dates they would prefer. If you’re aiming for academics and students, consider the academic calendar and scheduling later at night. If your audience is working professionals, think about whether their companies would permit them to attend during the workday, especially for large scale conferences and seminars.
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