Networking. A word that could strike fear into the hearts of many, but lets be honest, it is a good thing to do, even if you really, REALLY hate it.
This year, top of my business agenda is to network, I did a little bit last year but this year needs to be full on.
Why do we network?
It’s about meeting people, making leads, drumming up business, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours, and possibly making some great friends and business contacts. There are so many networking groups across the country, all associated with business and specific industries, so its worth spending time looking around and trying to attend some of the networking meetings.
If you are rather nervous about attending these type of things, take a friend or someone you work with and double team, its nice to speak to a range of people, then you’ll get your confidence up when others are interested in your work.
Some organisations will put on free events, some will ask for a membership payment or contribution to a network event.
My experience, and what I hope to do this year is visit a few as a “guest”, a one off payment to attend an event, and you probably get fed as well.
Depending on where you stand in the market, as a female, it is always rather handy to go along to networking events which are targeted at women. You’ll meet other like minded business ladies and you never know your skills and experience may get you some great contacts and possibly some work. Some female orientated networking events limit their members so they have a good mix of different skills.
In the East Midlands there are lots of great events, for business and for those in the creative sector. Antenna, based in Nottingham offers networking and other events, Creative Leicestershire and Creative Derbyshire hold events that teach some great skills, but one of the most interesting and creative ways of meeting must be the Pecha Kucha at the Quad in Derby, definitely worth a visit, and if you’re at these events, I will probably see you there!