I have many friends who do a lot of Networking. I have never subscribed to it although have attended the occasional meeting. My personal view is that its a nice diversion from slogging away in the office but does it actually yield enough business to cover the cost of membership, hours not working and the cost of travelling there and back. I remain sceptical.
Several friends in business seem to be always just off to or at a meeting and it can be any time of the day and in some cases quite a distance from base. In business we want clients and mixing with people who are after the same conclusion seems perhaps a little pointless. It is obviously enjoyable to meet with people in business but maybe not during the working day. Do those who network actually sit down and calculate the benefits. I do admit that they have some good and motivational speakers at some of the meetings that are beneficial.
Preaching to the converted in all things puzzles me and it is done so frequently in all walks of life and in all spheres. Surely we need to get it out ‘there’ rather than circulate it within our own bubble.
Networking at events where possible clients are is more positive and even in the local pub or family gatherings can yield work and contacts.
I have been involved with the dog showing and breeding world for a very long time and my mother and grandmother before me and this is a case in point. Although the powers that be are trying to get the right words out to the general dog owning public they still waste a lot of time preaching to their own kind.
Social networks and blogs to my mind are more effective as you reach a wider audience and people in different walks of life who may find what you are doing is interesting and worth following. By encouraging followers and friends you build up a good base of possible clients.
So my message to you is how much are you benefiting from Networking?