Which events to attend and how to know when they take place?
The answer might sound quite simple to you, but I’m still surprised how many people don’t know that there are events that are very interesting to them.
It starts with knowing your goals. If you know them, it is easy to find out what’s being organised and where to meet people.
If you have to start from scratch (meaning you are not a member of any organisation yet), these are my recommendations:
1) Share your goals with your network and ask which organisations could be interesting
2) Use search engines like Google on the Internet with keywords that are linked to your goal to find organisations you might consider joining.
3) Find out which are the major players (people or organisations) in your industry or field of interest. Ask them which organisations they are member of and which they recommend. Also ask why. The best situation is of course that you can contact someone from your current network. If you don’t know anybody, don’t worry. First ask your network if they know anyone. And if you still haven’t got a name, just pick up the phone and make a call.
This telephone call is also a great substitute for a cold sales call. You are not selling anything, just asking for help. And in the meanwhile you are building a relationship. Don’t sell during this same conversation, especially if it’s a contact you received via your network. Don’t sell unless the other party insists. But beware that you don’t ruin the relationship before it even starts!
Now you should have some names of organisations. The next steps are:
– Visit the website of the organisations you found
– Check who is already member and contact them. Tell them you are interested in becoming a member. Ask them what they like about the organisation and the events and what they don’t like. Also ask for other organisations they are member of and which they recommend. The same comment applies to the major players in the tip about starting from scratch.
– Contact the president or chairman of the organisation and ask why you should join. Ask what the benefits of a potential membership are for you. Ask if you can get an invitation to try the organisation out before becoming a member. And before paying large membership fees.
– Subscribe to the newsletters of the selected organisations. This way you never miss an event. You can always check out the calendar in the specialised magazines.
– Keep asking your network and the people you meet at events which other events they recommend. Also ask why. This way you will learn a lot. Not only about the organisations and events, but also about what’s going on in your field of interest and about the people you meet. You will have more interesting conversations. As a consequence your relationships will be strengthened and your network grows, both in quantity as in quality.
Have a great networking day !
PS: this is an excerpt from my book Let’s Connect. Check out the website to get your free light version !