Networking events are wonderful ways to learn more about the clients you serve, your own industry, get to know movers and shakers, and even become a mover and a shaker. There are many reasons to attend networking events that you should consider. But, if any one event doesn’t fulfill at least a couple of these factors, then there is no need to go. Attend as many events as you can afford and that you’ve researched that also fulfill at least a couple of these reasons to attend:
* To Increase Visibility – The more events you can afford to attend, the more visible you and your business will become. Visibility helps your business because the more known you are, the more people trust you.
* To Be the Expert – As someone who is going to a lot of events, you can be the expert for your niche at the event. Answer questions, be open, honest and transparent, and people will start to see you as the “go to” person for that niche. I can’t tell you how many times I was the ONLY VA at a networking event and came away with at least 1-2 great clients.
* To Build Relationships – Knowing people online is great, but meeting them in real life is even better. Getting to really talk to someone in person, see their face, shake their hand (hugs are also fun!) builds relationships beyond what you may have thought a business relationship would become.
* To Stay on Trend – In-person events are usually a lot more up-to-date on the trends than other types of events. You’re going to learn so much about what’s happening right now, what’s in the news, what’s hot right now and more.
* To Connect with Key Influencers – Most key influencers attend a lot of live events. They do it because it keeps them a key influencer. You can’t be a key influencer and remain unknown or anonymous. You must meet people in person and meet them a lot. One of my coaches, Fabienne Fredrickson, usually stops in Charlotte (about 2.5 hours away) on her road tour before her big live event and I always make it a point to go every. single. time. Why? Because my target market attends her events and I always make it a point to meet them at the event as well as snap a quick photo of me and Fabienne because she is a key influencer in the coaching industry. It doesn’t cost anything but my time and gas and maybe a meal, but it’s marketing dollars very well spent.
* To Learn from Others – Most networking events offer some form of learning opportunity. If you open your mind and listen to everything anyone says, as well as the speeches given, you’re going to learn so much from others about your business. If you are a VA, then make it a point to attend IVAA’s online and live summits in which you’ll learn from others who have walked your path to a successful business.
* To Find Partners – One really great way to find joint venture partners is at networking events. Most of the time a person who will spend money going to a networking event isn’t a scammer, is likely pretty honest, and could even be a potential serious partner for your serious business.
* To Improve Your Marketing Message – When you go to a networking event you’re forced to work on your “elevator pitch,” know your value proposition, and talk about your business. Talking it out helps you make your message even better!
Attending networking events is a really great way to build your business, learn more about your business, and make the right connections. If the events you’re choosing from fulfill some of the reasons to attend and it’s within your budget to attend, you need to go for it!