There is a real cost to networking, both in time and dollars. So it’s important that you strategize about these events before you make the investment.
Here are five things to consider in deciding whether an event is a good fit for you and your business.
5-Steps to Develop a Networking Strategy
1. Decide if you should you join or just attend.
Sometimes you gain real value from joining an organization, and sometimes you just want to attend a few meetings to connect with key people. Don’t arbitrarily join an organization without really analyzing this.
2. Determine how often you should be networking in a given month.
Once you come up with this number, it will help you to narrow down which events to attend.
3. When you decide to attend an event, register and then schedule it on your calendar.
Don’t be one of those people who just shows up without registering, or conversely, signs up and then forgets to attend.
4. Prepare for each event.
Think about those likely to attend and set goals for the event.
5. Develop a plan to meet and learn about new people.
Do not huddle up with those you know. Meet new people and discuss your business half as much as you listen about theirs.