The best entrepreneurs are people-persons, and with good reason. This is because they won’t survive in the tough and fast-paced landscape without the right people by their side. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to create long-lasting and meaningful relationships with other professionals in the industry.
If you’re having trouble with honing your people skills, the best place to practice honing them is by attending networking events. These events can be your training ground and battlefield simultaneously, especially because you can directly apply what you learned as you go. Here are three more reasons why you should start attending more networking events if only to benefit your business in the long run:
Reason #1 Chance to Expand Your Network
Ultimately, the most compelling reason to attend a networking event is to expand your network. You can’t go to one to stand in a corner and watch people build their networks — you need to take this chance to grow your own. This is the perfect avenue to meet like-minded individuals and trailblazers.
You can also use this event to stay on top of the trends in your industry because you’ll meet many people working within your line of work. So, keep your eyes and ears peeled for any news that comes your way because you never know when you can use them for your own business.
Aside from expanding your network, this informal event is a great way to bond with other industry players outside of the workplace. Since you’re all more or less at ease in this environment, this can make creating meaningful relationships that much easier.
Reason #2 Mingle Across Different Industries
Networking events are like melding pots of different industries — unless stated otherwise. If the event that you’re going to isn’t limited to the people within your industry, then you’ll have the chance to intermingle with other professionals from various industries that you otherwise wouldn’t have met.
This will be a great opportunity to introduce your brand to a wider audience, particularly those who aren’t familiar with your business. Or if you don’t need help with marketing your business, this networking event could be an avenue to scout potential suppliers or vendors for your brand.
For instance, you can let more people know that you’re offering charcuterie franchise opportunities for up-and-coming entrepreneurs who want to work within a proven and established business model. Or that you’re looking for local suppliers whom you can work with on your future business endeavors.
The point is that you’ll be surrounded by people from all corners of the business world, so you have to take advantage of it. Approach other professionals and strike conversations with them. But if you don’t want to speak, then you can listen to their stories and learn a thing or two about how they run their businesses.
Reason #3 Access to a Larger Talent Pool
If you’ve come to the networking event to recruit people, then you have to make sure that you’re going to accomplish it before the night ends. Fortunately, a networking event is a perfect place to meet new people you may or may end up working with later.
Because you can assume that everyone in the event is planning to expand their network, you won’t feel shy when approaching other people. You can take this opportunity to engage them in interesting topics and gauge if they’re a good fit for your company. After all, the main purpose of a networking event is to talk to other people until you no longer can.
What better place to scout potential recruits, collaborators, or partnerships than in an event where you have access to a large talent pool? Of course, not everyone in the event is looking for a job opportunity, so you have to phrase your words carefully. Try not to be too bold that your attitude is becoming a turn-off, but also not too shy that the person you’re talking to can’t understand your point. Find a balance.
Understandably, approaching random people and striking up conversations are not everyone’s strong suits. But for the sake of growing out of your comfort zone and benefiting your business, you should consider attending the events. They’re not all bad, especially once you get the hang of mingling with others.
Besides, if you successfully achieve the goals you planned to accomplish by going to the event, it can work wonders for your business’s bottom line. So, try to put your introverted tendencies aside and put on your brightest smile. Then, let your confidence be your guide as you charm your way throughout the room.