For many new and existing businesses in the modern-day, networking is still one of the most highly effective ways to get more eyes on your business’ product(s) or services. Whether your business is in Wirral, Liverpool or even London – no matter where you are based, the cost of time spent with people will always be valued.

However, there seems to be a drop in the number of people attending networking events nowadays and missing out on huge opportunities.

If you’re thinking about attending a networking meetup for the first time, here’s what you can expect from your day and how you can make the most out of the networking experience.

 

Why do People go to Networking Events?

You may think that the main goal of networking meetings is to sell people products and services and you may feel like that environment doesn’t suit you. This is understandable if this is your perception of business networking events.

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth in most cases. Most sensible businesses will go to a networking event to build long-lasting and meaningful relationships with people – as you would if you’ve just started at a new school or college for example.

If everyone understands that networking is a massive long-term investment for their business and you’re as transparent and open as can be with people – they will begin to respect you inevitably.

Getting to know people and meeting the people you get along with at the events consistently will only increase your business network, followers and opportunities for plans or ideas in the future.

 

Different Types of Networking Groups

There are so many different ranges of networking groups based on ludicrous amounts of factors and this is where it is easy to be overwhelmed. But in reality, there is nothing to worry about – finding a networking event that suits you can be simple.

 

Soft Networking Groups

The first type of networking group we’re going to discuss is the “soft networking” group. These are the sort of events you will find most commonly if you search for networking events – as they contain around 50 people in small groups talking to each other about… well, anything.

What you’ll find with this type of networking event is that everyone is in the same boat. They have all come together – usually also their first time and will be friendly towards one another and give everyone an equal amount of time to talk about themselves and their businesses or career.

If you find a group that you may find a bit uncomfortable in due to their politeness or attitude – then it’s probably best to switch groups and find a more inclusive team. It will save you time and energy!

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Hard Networking Groups

The second of the networking groups we’re running through is the “hard networking” group. These groups are usually more structured with a time booked to meet every week (usually super early in the morning)!

These groups are more personal and closed to the public as you usually have to contact someone to join or pay a fee to see a few people from a different job careers each week.

The layout of this group is that each of the members introduces themselves (interview style) and exactly what they do and the sector their job role is in. Once everyone has heard the minute of speech from everyone in the group – there is a referral system where another member can be referred to you as a potential customer.

This is a high-value group to get yourself or your business into, hence the price and fee to join – because you usually leave these group meetings with another potential customer or a long-term business relationship.

 

Networking Groups in Your Area of Expertise

Subsequently, some of these networking groups can be a pain to travel to. Whereas, there are groups in your area. For example, there will be North of England events such as Chester business networking, Liverpool business networking or even Wirral business networking events.

When going along to these open workshops, especially ones within your niche of work – it is a lot easier to start a conversation as you have so much in common already with your job roles. This gives you a lot more comfort and confidence as you do this role every day without fail, so it will make a conversation last for as long as you want!

Not only will this make you feel more relaxed, but you will learn a lot more about yourself and your job role. Whether that be in property, sport or even the creative media industry, for example, there is always room for improvement. Little comments and tips from others go a long way and may improve your work on a day-to-day basis – all from just a few words spoken to you at a networking event!

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Tips for Going to Networking Events

You may feel a lot of stress build up going to a networking event, especially if it is the first one you’ve ever attended.

The first tip we feel will help you towards taking action and going to that networking event you’ve been planning on going to – is to just relax and enjoy your time there. You’ve got to remember that this is most likely other people’s first time going to a networking event too and they’ll be just as nervous as you. Networking is a fun and safe environment and most of the people you will meet will be extremely kind and charming to be around.

The second tip that will go a long way in networking is being interested in someone else’s story. People may seem hard to crack at first but once you hear about them on a deeper level, it will always be interesting to hear another person speak about their personal or business journey.

Lastly, we think that you just need to believe in yourself and talk to lots of people while you’re at it. You don’t give yourself enough credit for how much free knowledge you have sometimes and this could change someone’s life at that event – so go and be yourself!