A few weeks ago I was at a networking event organised by the online networking website OpenBC in Antwerp, Belgium. It was a good event: nice location, tasty (ànd sufficient) food and lots of interesting people.
At a certain moment I got the question: “Do we need offline networking events when we have online networking websites?” (by the way, I find it funny that since there are websites where you can network, the act of meeting people on events is now often called “offline” networking. Another proof that the use of new technology leads to new vocabulary.)
Here are my tips:
– If you are a member of an online networking website I recommend going to this kind of events because they add the personal experience to the messages you exchanges via het internet. It will help you to get to know the other person better as a “whole person”, next to his/her virtual profile.
– If you aren’t a member of such a networking website, it might also be a good idea to attend these events. You can start to build a relationship with people on this event. And then continue the relationship via forums or personal messaging on the website.
For me online networking is a very valuable addition to meeting people “in real life”, but not a 100% replacement.
Network in the way you feel most comfortable with yourself, but know that online networks provide much value and are here to stay. And also be aware that to really get to know each other, a face-to-face contact can make some things very clear in a very short time !
Have a great networking day !
PS: you can connect with me on following online networks:
But please don’t use the standard connection mails ! Show me that our connection could be much more than a number on a list.