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Types of Networking Events and Their Benefits

July 19, 2018

As a board member of the American Marketing Association (AMA) Cincinnati chapter, I’ve been to a lot of networking events – good ones and bad ones. I’ve also organized and hosted my own networking events, including the ever-popular Speed Networking. It saves time and money to know which networking formats work best for me and my professional goals.

Here are some of the more common networking event formats and the benefits of each:

In Person, Casual EventsBusiness Card Exchange

The most common networking events around town are networking happy hours. Whether it’s at a bar with alcohol after work hours or at a coffee shop in the early mornings, I call these events casual and unstructured because they welcome many visitors to come and go as they please and are generally free. And you not only get deals on drinks, you get a place to casually meet others with similar interests. Just started a new business? Looking for a new job? It’s easy to find a networking event in your town that centers on your interest or industry.

In Person, Structured Events

The second most common events (and some of my favorites) are the structured in-person networking events. These can be speed networking, round-table discussions, and workshops. While they usually have a small price tag and occur during work hours, you get more in-depth information about a topic or industry. These events are well-suited for first-timers and job seekers.

In-person Conferences and Lunches

I said the c-word sales and marketing people love to hate – conferences. Big or small, conferences can be overwhelming. Although you can meet many professionals and influencers in your industry, conferences can eat up time and money quickly. Do your research before attending a conference and plan your year in advance.

If conferences are too much, try a luncheon or breakfast meeting. You get a meal and quality time with other professionals.

Online Forums and Platforms

LinkedIn is the obvious choice for online networking, but other social media sites, including Facebook, have groups you can join to talk to and share information with other professionals interested in a topic or industry. Free from advertisements and salespeople, they’re a safe place to ask questions and get honest answers. Here’s an article about how to use Facebook for professional networking.

Perfect Introduction the ideal tool to make referrals easier

Tips for Excelling at Networking Events


For many business people, networking is a ‘necessary evil.’ Luckily, there are numerous options when it’s time to choose a networking event; from in-person events to online events, there’s something for everyone.

Want more information about networking or some other aspect of marketing? Call us!

Topics: Networking

Written by leadingresults

Leading Results helps businesses stop wasting money on marketing and improves their business development results by putting POWER in their marketing. The POWER is the Processes, Organizational Support, Why (you do what you do), Expertise and Refer-ability. You get strategy, tactics and execution. We work with both individual businesses and businesses as part of a larger ecosystem. Be more profitable.

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