When we say ‘networking’, you may think of a variety of reasons to attend specific events, from creating awareness of your business, to developing mutually beneficial relationships and enhancing profitability. With an anticipated 85% of jobs filled through networking activities, it is simple to see the potential benefits networking may bring to both your career and/or business.
However, why, despite being so value driven, do most professionals feel that networking does not necessarily offer a good return on investment from both a time and monetary perspective?
There is research from the Harvard Business Review that suggests the wide range of reasons for attending networking events (from gathering connections, to business development and account management), is a key reason behind why it may be regarded as ineffective. In essence, this research argues that networking has become far too cluttered with sales messages and differing expectations to truly be considered valuable.
Because todays workforce are primarily driven by communication, collaboration and connection values, this barrage of sales messages will simply fail to resonate, signalling issues for the traditional networking model. Instead, todays workforce are seeking ways they can connect and create communities relative to their skill sets, shifting networking from an individualistic approach to a more collaborative one.
For instance, we have recently partnered with The Marketing Meetup to bring networking events to Manchester. These events are driven by learning and connecting fellow marketers - you won’t find a sales Pitch at these events. Instead, you will have the opportunity to learn something new about marketing and communications, with the opportunity to connect and speak with a community of like-minded people.
These values are similarly echoed in Birmingham, where the Social Circle are pioneering the way in social media & digital marketing networking events. Driven by their core values of learn, connect & share, gaining advice and information on current trends regarding how to enhance your digital marketing strategy and content has never been so simple.
Both the Marketing Meetup and Social Circle offer events in Manchester & Birmingham and if you are keen to discover more about their value driven approach to networking, have a listen to our podcast.
Overall, networking in a value driven and collaborative environment is likely to be more engaging for the current workforce, where the capacity to learn and connect in a friendly environment may have a stronger impact on ROI than a traditional networking model. To help you find meaningful networking events and workshops from Manchester to Birmingham and beyond, we have populated our website with marketing, PR and creative events to name a few. Click here to find your next networking event today.