Networking in the USA versus Europe

August 26, 2006

Many people ask me: is there a difference in how Americans and Europeans network?

I always found this a difficult question to answer, because of my rather limited experience with networking events in the USA. So when I was in the USA in June and July, I looked for ways to experience different networking initiatives.

Next to individual meetings and more informal gatherings, I attended several seminars, a networking referral breakfast meeting and a networking event of the Chamber of Commerce.

And my (of course biased) conclusion till now is that there are differences, also within the USA and Europe. For example cultural ones and formats of the events (where networking is more stimulated in one format than another).

Though these differences have an impact on how people experience a networking event and their contacts with other people, the biggest difference I found is in the attitude of the organisers and the attendants.

For example: the organisers of one event were so chaotic and self-focused that everybody got the tendency to get chaotic and self-focused. Needless to say that I didn’t like thร t event ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bottom line this is my conclusion: when you approach other people with a “give and receive” attitude (looking for ways to help people without expecting anything in return), all differences fade away and become rather insignificant, whether you are from the USA, Europe or any other place in the world.

Have a great networking day !

Jan


Online Networking as an aid to get connected

August 12, 2006

Last week I mentioned that I went to the USA for two conventions. I also visited Los Angeles and surroundings in June this year.
Since I’m from Belgium, my network in the USA is not that large (yet), especially when visiting one specific place. But still I was able to meet many people face to face.

So how did I manage to do this? Via my online networks.

This was my strategy:

1) Define my goals on the trips. It was a business trip and not a holiday.
2) Search in my online networks (www.ecademy.com, www.linkedin.com, www.openbc.com, www.ryze.com) who lives in the neighbourhood of the place I was going to visit
3) Search in my online networks who might be interested in going to the same events
4) Write an e-mail to let them know I was coming over, clearly explain my goals and ask them who they know that would be interesting for me to meet (and also would be interested to meet me). Also ask what you can do for them.
5) Post the same message in forums on the online networks
6) To all the people who responded: ask to write one e-mail to connect me with the person they thought of
7) After receiving the “connection e-mail”: make an appointment with this person to meet each other in person

This approach works fantastic. Try it yourself !

One of the side effects of this approach was that the people I was able to meet, sometimes organised small networking events with other people and/or introduced me to their contacts. So it works exponentially. One of the magics of networking ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great networking day !

Jan

PS: you will not be able to meet everybody or some people you initially contacted won’t be able to help you. Don’t consider this as a waste of time. You took the initiative to connect and everybody appreciates that.


Networking Experts

August 5, 2006

From July 12 till July 26 I visited the USA. More specifically Orlando. There were two events that interested me: Mark Victor Hansen’s Mega Book Marketing University and the National Speakers Association 2006 Convention. I had several goals for this visit. (It’s always good to set goals, this helps you to reach them faster and paradoxically it frees your mind to be open for other things).

My goals were:
Business: making contact with potential publishers for my networking book “Let’s Connect!” in the USA and also other parties that could help me with the promotion
Education: learning more about marketing books and speaking
Networking: expand my network in the USA and meet some of the other networking experts

It was a great trip with fantastic results in every area.

It would lead me too far to list all what I learned and all the wonderful people I met over there, but since this is a blog about networking, I want to introduce to you some networking experts whom I met and who also walk their talk:

Donna Fisher: author of Professional Networking for Dummies, People Power, Power Networking and lots of other books (see: www.donnafisher.com)
Julia Hubbel: author of the Art of Princpled Networking (see: www.principlednetworking.com)
Jill Lublin: author of Networking Magic (see: www.jilllublin.com)
Rick Frishman: also author of Networking Magic (see: www.rickfrishman.com)
Michael Hughes: networking expert from Canada (see: www.michaeljhughes.com)

Have a great networking day !

Jan


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