If you’ve been attending networking events for an extended period of time, you already know that not all of them are worth your time. A lot of networking events either just aren’t a good fit for you personally or they flat out suck all the way around, offering nothing of value to anyone who attends.
The problem is that when you attend a bad networking event, you’re wasting your time. And time is money. That’s time you could be using to work on something more important, to attend a better networking event, or just to relax and be with your family.
Unfortunately, you don’t have a crystal ball so it can seem a bit challenging to determine which networking events are going to be profitable for you and which are going to be a huge waste of your time. The good news is that there are some things you can do to determine if that networking event is really worth attending.
- Determine if the networking event is aligned with your business goals — Why do you attend networking events? What specifically are you looking to accomplish? Are you looking for business partners? Trying to connect directly with your customers? Recruiting new employees? Your goals will determine which events you should attend. So, if you haven’t figured out what your specific goals are, you need to do that before doing anything else.
- Set aside an amount of time each month for attending networking events — You can’t spend all of your time attending networking events. Sure, these events can offer a lot, but you have to make sure they don’t become a way for you to avoid doing more important tasks. Again, time is money. So, allot an amount of time to spend at networking events each month, and try to stick to that number.
- Ask your colleagues about events you’ve never attended — If you come across a new networking group that you’ve never dealt with before, speak to your colleagues to see if they’ve ever attended any of the group’s events. If it’s an event worth attending, there’s a decent chance that someone you know will have attended it before and will be able to provide you with some useful insight.
- Search online to see if there’s any buzz for the event in question — See an event coming up that you’re thinking about attending? Search the web to see if there’s any buzz building up for the event. Search on Twitter for mentions of the event, or search Google to see if there’s a website for the networking group. If you’re having a hard time finding much information on the web, that’s a sign that the event is probably pretty small and not well organized. Might be best to skip it.
- Look back at your results — Have you been attending the same networking events over and over with nothing to show for it? That should tell you something. Either the group that you’re networking with isn’t the right fit for you or you’re just not doing a good job at getting the most from the events you’re attending.
How do you determine which networking events to attend? Share your tips with us by commenting below.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in press release writing and distribution. Download the free whitepaper The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/pinterest.html