We live in an age where people build their networks by sending LinkedIn requests to total strangers, in quasi-related fields. But social networks simply cannot compete with the benefits of real-world networking.
Linkedin helps you connect with a company. Actual networking helps you built a company.
Real world networking has never been more important than it is right now in the age of social networks.
You Build Relationships, Not Just Referrals
A lot of people have dipped their toe into the networking pool, but never dove right in because they didn’t see a clear ROI. They wrote it off because the business cards they collected didn’t turn into qualified leads. But that’s not what this is about.
Most of us are techies, so we measure any networking event like we would an AdWords campaign. We look at the number of leads and the number of conversions. So, maybe we work out a ratio of business cards collected to possible leads generated.
This approach is fundamentally flawed. Your networking goals can’t be that small or that finite. It misses the big picture. Yes, you can meet new customers at networking events, but you’re more likely to meet someone more valuable like a:
- Mentor/ coach
- Influencer/ advocate
- Future investor
- Future Employee
It’s hard to put a hard ROI on building these relationships, because they’re truly invaluable. At least a few times a year, I will go grab coffee with someone I met at a networking event. They’ve never contributed a penny to my business, but their insights and advice is priceless.
It Takes You Out of Your Bubble
We’re all so focused on our business, it’s often all we see.
Designers talk to designers all day, and salespeople talk to salespeople all day.
A fresh perspective from a person with unique experiences can be really enlightening. Conversations with people that you (seemingly) have nothing in common with give you a glimpse into another world, while giving you new ways to look at your own.
These conversations can give you new ideas and solve long-standing problems.
It’s Energizing and Inspiring
There is truly nothing like the energy from a room full of entrepreneurs.
It’s amazing that everyone in the room can be so unique, yet simultaneously so like-minded. You’re surrounded by people whose success is driven by their passion, their talent and their ideas.
Hearing other people’s journeys into entrepreneurship will inspire you. It validates all the hard work we put into our businesses, and reminds us why we do what we do.
Expect to go back to work on Monday full of new enthusiasm and new ideas.
Most people say they can’t afford to make time for networking events. But the old adage couldn’t be more true: You can’t afford not to!
We Hope to See You at TechToronto 2018
Speaking of great networking events, we would love to meet you at this year’s TechToronto event, at RBC Waterpark Place (88 Queens Quay West), on December 3rd. TechToronto is a great event to network at if you’re involved in the tech scene, and interested in meeting new and innovative companies. The Town of Innisfil is also dedicated to innovative companies in the tech scene, which is why we’re ready to launch our accelerator program early 2019. If you want to learn more about Innisfil and meet Dan Taylor, The Economic Development Catalyst for The Town, he’ll be at the reception from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. having a drink and eating pizza, or at the after party at 9:00 p.m.
Look for him or text him at 705-796-7002 to chat. Feel free to ask him any questions about our Women’s Entrepreneurial Support Initiatives. Or he’ll be happy to tell you about our brand new entrepreneurial ecosystem support initiatives, including our new co-working space, incubator and accelerator launching in January. Or he would love to talk about our program and partnership with Ryerson University.