Networking 101: What to Know

Relationships are essential parts of business and networking events act as incubators where like-minded professionals, including entrepreneurs, professional colleagues, a venture capitalist from every industry, attend to explore new opportunities for growth and expansion.

What It Is

Professional networking is an intentional process with the intent of building relationships with others outside your circle of personal and professional relationships. The goal of networking is to build trust and form new relationships. There are different types of networking events; some may be workshops, while others may include games like bowling tournaments.

Why It Matters

For businesses to expand, new relationships must be forged. But this is very difficult without trust, so networking is a unique opportunity to gain trust and open new opportunities for all parties. Networking events often take place after working hours and is a unique situation where a lot of professionals’ guards come down. In this relaxed and casual environment, people are more likely to build meaningful relationships.

Successful networking should lead to information and knowledge to help individuals and businesses gain traction in areas that would otherwise be more difficult. Networking also presents an opportunity to allow people of the industry that you are a part of to become familiar with your products and services.

For example, if real estate agents ever want to exceed 40k in income, they will need a network. A real estate professional attends networking events to meet investors and attend training sessions and take advantage of other beneficial resources. Chamber of Commerce networking events offer various types of networking opportunities, including luncheons, mixers, and business card exchanges.

Types of Networking Events

There is a networking conference for virtually every industry. Conventions will have a schedule that covers a single day or multiple days. Networking conferences may include showcase rooms, where different vendors and businesses will have booths to show their products and services. Keynote speakers at the beginning or end of the conference are common. Some networking conferences have a conference within conferences, including roundtable events, mixers, various types of sessions.

Breakfast networking events are similar to a conference but are scaled down from multiple days to two to three hours. Usually, these events will have a continental breakfast, while some have the works, but there are all great opportunities to meet future business partners and help your business or career grow.

Round table networking events are professional sessions that usually cover one industry, where professionals come together and discuss topics relating to that industry. Round table networking is very intimate and presents unique opportunities, as these are usually not very large.

Networking events are vital to all professions, as they present opportunities unlike anything else for growth in career and business expansion. If you are in insurance sales, healthcare, real estate, or an entrepreneur, it is in your best interest to attend a few networking events annually.

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