Networking opportunities don’t come around all that often. It’s imperative, therefore, that when they do, you’re ready to harness them as productively as possible. This article looks at three key areas in which you’re likely to experience networking opportunities. Each area provides a gentle reminder that in the business world, networking is all about making the most of opportunities. Conferences and business meet-ups go without saying, so the three networking opportunities listed below are more situational and less about the organized meeting of minds that you’ll find in some business arenas.
The Hotel Bar
It’s something of a cliche, but if you’re on a business trip, you should really spend a little time down at the hotel bar. That’s because you’ll almost certainly have stayed in a location that other international businesspeople tend to stay, and as such there will be plenty of networking opportunities in a comfortable place that you’ll be able to frequent during your stay.
As other businesspeople are likely a little bored and a little lonely while on business trips, you’ll find this one of the significant opportunities to talk and share contact details with useful individuals. Make yourself approachable and smart-looking in your hotel bar, and sit up at the bar if possible, the place at which you’re most likely to come in contact with others.
Another emerging hive of opportunity where networking is concerned is the shared office space. Popping up all over the world due to the emergence of startups and the ‘gig economy’, in these spaces you’re going to find driven, ambitious and talented individuals from all lines of business. If you’re the leader of a small business, you should strongly consider setting yourself up in one of these spaces.
Co-workers from other businesses quickly become friends, the perfect kind of networking. Check out www.thebrew.co.uk for inspiring examples of co-working spaces and the benefits you’ll enjoy while there. The sheer diversity and quality of the talent working in these spaces make them networking opportunities you truly ought to seize.
Workshops and Events
Proactive businesspeople are never satisfied with their current skill set. In fact, they’re always out to learn more skills and gain more knowledge. That’s why so many workshops, classes, and events are peppered on the calendars of successful business people. It’s also why you should be attending; in part, for the skills you’ll pick up, and in part because, once again, you’ll be surrounded by the brightest, best, and most ambitious workers in your area when attending such classes.
You’ll not have to try hard to network here. You’ll naturally fall into conversations with all attendees, who’ll likewise be looking to network alongside you. You’ll share the same spheres of business seeing as you’re taking the same course, and you’ll be able to ask each other what the class or workshop will mean when applied to your business. It’s a great way of learning about the professional qualifications of the people you meet.
Networking needn’t be too formal or algorithmic! The opportunities listed above are all laid-back and smart ways in which to grow your network.