As co-owner of a successful marketing company, I have found that much of my success is based around my love of networking and participating in events that bring business owners together. A mainstay event on my calendar is our local Chamber of Commerce’s Business After-Hours event, held monthly.
Although many of the contacts made are consistent from event to event, I make it a primary objective at each event to obtain a new legitimate connection that may eventually lead to something greater from a business standpoint. The most important factor when considering networking events is consistency. Ensuring yourself as a staple at marketing events where you will see business connections will likely keep you at the top of their minds when your services are needed. It’s also important to look for ways to add value to the people who attend these events. In some cases, giving business advice or offering to help with things outside of your personal scope of business can help build essential relationships with people who may later become extremely important for your business.
I met one of my clients at a networking event by simply bellying up to the bar and striking up a conversation with an initial stranger. That stranger later became one of my largest clients, and has actually grown into a national-level account for my company. The real beauty in business networking events is in the potential relationships you build, as well as how those relationships may eventually lead to a whole new set of connections that will benefit you and your company.