Being Bruce -: Networking Event Tip #10 - Cross Pollinate (at Multiple Events)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Networking Event Tip #10 - Cross Pollinate (at Multiple Events)

When it comes to business networking, cross pollination doesn't have anything to do with the birds and the bees. Figuratively, however, it's the same thing.

The concept behind this tip can help you maximize the results of your networking marketing efforts. If you only attend one networking event regularly, and you "work it" well, that's a good thing, but imagine what can happen if you attend several each month? If you're in marketing and sales or actively trying to grow a business, attending one networking event a week doesn't sound out of line. As long as the usual attendees differ between the groups you attend (which otherwise would defeat the purpose), being a regular at one event and an occasional drop in at other events can work well to widen your contact and relationship web and spread the word about you and your business.

One caveat here, if you so love to go to business networking events that doing so takes over other vital processes in your life (typically that would be either having a "real" social life or maybe even doing whatever it is you actually "do" in your life), that can be a trap. So remember that even though attending, enjoying, and fostering relationships at networking events can be a vital factor in your business, it isn't your business, and it's also not your personal life. So keep it in balance.

If you decide to cross pollinate business networking events and want to be systematic about it, one strategy is to allocate a number of hours each month for networking events and determine how many events you'll attend each month in each of three categories:

- A. regularly events - events you attend 80% or more of the time

- B. occasional events - you'll show up now and then (and when you do it's special for you and for them) but not more than half the time, likely less

- C. new events - be on the lookout for new events to attend. If you find and show up at new events you may strike gold with a new must-go Category A or once-in-a-while Category B event or you may strike out with a dud or bad fit, but by trying out new events at least every other month, you'll have a great chance of starting with a new group of relationships.

This post is one in a series on how to make the most of in-person networking events. If you're going to go (and I suggest you do if your business benefits from relationships), you might as have the most fun possible and give and receive the greatest benefits from the occasion.

If you know of a networking event in the greater Wilmington Area [which means to me anywhere from Topsail Island, NC to North Myrtle Beach, SC] that's open to visitors, drop me a note ahead of time and I'll try to post it.