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Where should I network?
Wondering which networking events to attend or which groups to join? Of course the answer depends: “Who do you want to meet and why? “ With those questions answered it becomes that much easier to find the right events to attend and the right groups to join.
By Brenda Thomson
12 Jan 2019
People often ask me – Where should I network? Of course the answer depends: “Who do you want to meet and why? “
With those questions answered it becomes that much easier to find the right events to attend and the right groups to join.
Here is a handy guide to help you get started.
Business Networking Groups tend to fall into seven broad categories
- Professional associations and organisations.
- Business mastermind and support groups
- Referral Groups (E.g. BNI)
- Community Service Groups (E.g. Rotary)
- Local Area Networks (Traders Associations and Chambers of Commerce and events run by your local council)
- Privately run networking groups catering for a specific niche or demographic – typically their events will either have a speaker or be run in a particular way.
- Casual meetup groups – usually started by someone who sees it as a great way to build their list and credibility.
Within these categories you will find a huge variation in structure, membership, commitment required etc. Make sure you pick groups that are a good fit for your personality and your lifestyle needs – Don’t join groups that you can’t or don’t want to fulfil your commitments to. E.g. – if you can’t do weekly breakfasts don’t join Business Networking International (BNI). If you are shy and retiring chose a small and intimate group with plenty of structure.
At the least you will need to join at least two groups as well as regularly attending other non- membership events to help you further expand your network
- A professional association or a business mastermind group – depending on your needs. This is where you will further your professional or business ownership expertise.
- A group which focusses on helping you achieve your business goals. Depending on your business objectives and your personal goals and values you may also choose to join a business referral group, a community service group (e.g. a Rotary Club) or a local area network such as a Chamber of Commerce, or a privately run group which can specifically assist you with your business objectives.
The decisions will be much easier once you know exactly what it is you want to achieve.
Plus – if you know what you want to achieve then you can measure the effectiveness of your networking efforts.
More articles in the Synergy48 GroupNetworking Resource Pack
How to create a networking plan
Who do you want to meet at a networking event?
What are strategic partnerships and why should I care?
Seven steps to effective networking follow up
How to evaluate the effectiveness of your networking efforts
CEO and Founder, Synergy48 Group
Brenda has an honours degree in organizational psychology and a Graduate Certificate in training and development and she is an experienced trainer, facilitator and counsellor. She is a firm believer in mutual collaboration combined with a practical, hands on tools, strategies and systems as the most effective way to achieve real results in business.
Brenda has over 20 years of experience training in communication, team work, time management, productivity, organisation and strategic planning in large organisations. She is also the developer of the Business Benchmarking Toolkit used by Synergy48 Group members and clients to identify areas for improvement in their business processes.
Brenda is a sought after mentor, speaker and trainer in the areas of strategic partnerships and networking with a difference. She is passionate about actively giving back to the community. In addition to donating her speaking fees and a proportion of every Synergy48 Group membership to provide microfinance to help women in Malawi to start their own businesses, Brenda has climbed the Himalayas to raise money for Kids Help Line and helped lay a pipeline to supply water to a remote village in Tanzania.