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Friday, 13 April 2018 11:14

The Value of Business Networking

Written by Noreen Moross, Director of Production Services

Merriam Webster defines networking as: the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.

What Networking Means to Me:

To me it is much more than that. When computers talk to each other it is considered networking. When people talk to each other at cocktail parties or other casual social events that is social networking. When children are playing and interacting together on a playground, even though they are not yet aware of it, they are networking. They are making connections with other children that will determine who they want to socialize with in the future. When two professionals connect over a common goal, that is an example of business networking. 

I do my fair share of business networking in my position as Director of Production Services for NewTV. This is good because I truly like people. I can read a room; I can usually tell who likes to chat, who wants to be left alone and who is in the middle. A good networker is willing to listen, really listen and then genuinely react.

Sponsored events are a really good opportunity for business networking, but knowing which event is right for you and your business can be a challenge. There are as many different events as there are industries. I will break them down into three categories, Industry, Themed and Local, and explore the benefits of each.

Types of Networking Events:

BusinessNetworkingIndustryEventsIndustry Events:

Industry events are focused events for like-minded individuals. They are concentrated on a specific field or industry, in my case Video Production. The attendees share similar work values and best practices. There is always a keynote speaker and several expert-led panels that educate the audience on current topics. Industry Events almost always have sponsored activations. I almost always walk away from an Industry Event having learned something that I can bring back to my team that makes us stronger and better able to serve our clients. On a national level the premiere industry event is NAB, some of the better local events are hosted by MPC, Rule, & Mass Access to name a few.

Themed Events:

A Themed Event is just that, it has a theme that is the thread of the event. Two of my favorites are The Ad Club’s Women’s Leadership Forum and the MA Conference for Women. These full-day events aim to inspire, renew and enlighten. There is always a line up of amazing speakers, sponsored activations and engaged attendees. The stories that are shared are deeply inspiring. Some so much so that they engage and encourage you to look for the greater good in the world and your surrounding community. The business networking opportunities at these events are aplenty. You can gain access to C Level executives who sponsor these events and otherwise wouldn’t take cold calls or answer emails. It is here you have an opportunity to get introduced and start a conversation that makes an impression that will help future emails be read and returned.

BusinessNetworkingLocalEventsLocal events:

Local Events are more intimate and relaxed; they can be as varied as a community fundraising event to a golf tournament. These are some of my favorite events. Though they may not be the greatest for drumming up business with business networking, they do give you a good sense of who your business neighbors are and what the pulse of your city is. The hosts of these events are usually non-profits or local media companies who invest and give back in their own back yards. This is grassroots networking at its best. There are many local community events that happen each week. Most cities and towns have a local chamber of commerce and other chapter groups that are great business resources.

Networking Groups:

Besides organized events there are smaller, less formal business networking groups. I belong to a local women’s group called Success in the City. This group is made up of 25 female entrepreneurs and business owners from the MetroWest area. We meet every other week and bounce ideas off each other, share experiences and are sometimes able to refer business connections.

 

To me networking is a conversation, one that once begun can continue successfully for years to come.

Happy Networking!

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