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12 Types of Networking Events You Don't Want to Miss Out
Networking events are crucial to building relationships and expanding your professional circle.
Furthermore, they're not only a great way to meet new people but also provide an opportunity to learn from experts in your field and stay up-to-date on industry trends.
However, since networking events come in a wide variety, it isn’t always obvious which will best suit your career goals.
This is where we jump in with our list of 12 types of networking events you don't want to miss out.
Let’s dive in!
Why Should You Attend Networking Events?
Attending networking events can provide various benefits, such as:
🔥 Expanding your network - Networking events enable you to meet new people from diverse backgrounds, industries, and professions.
In addition, building a strong network of contacts can help you establish relationships that may lead to business collaborations or referrals.
🔥 Learning experience - Many events feature speakers or experts who share their knowledge and expertise on specific topics related to your field or interests.
But it isn’t only the speakers. You can also learn a lot from other attendees, gain insights, learn best practices, and stay up-to-date with industry trends.
🔥 Boosting confidence and skills - Engaging with strangers requires social and soft skills such as active listening, communication, empathy, and emotional intelligence.
Therefore, networking events provide great opportunities to polish those skills while boosting confidence.
What are the 3 Main Types of Networking Events?
Regardless of many shapes and forms a networking event can take, there are three main types:
- In-person events - It is the most traditional type of networking, but still one of the most popular since you can meet people face-to-face.
- Virtual networking events - These events have become extremely popular because they allow you to connect with people worldwide without leaving the comfort of your home.
As a result, they are time-saving and cost-effective.
- Hybrid events - They combine the best of both worlds, making them fashionable in recent years.
And now, let’s jump to 12 types of networking events.
12 Specific Types of Networking Events
1. Network at Alumni Events
Attending alumni events is an excellent way to network with people with common backgrounds.
These events allow you to reconnect with your former classmates and professors and meet with new alumni who may be valuable contacts for future career opportunities.
Alumni events range from casual get-togethers, such as homecoming games or happy hours, to formal ones, like fundraising galas or award ceremonies.
Either way, they will give you a chance to showcase your skills and experience and access an extensive network of professionals.
Note: The key is not only to attend but also actively participate by volunteering or offering your expertise as a speaker at an event.
Remember, networking isn't just about making contacts - it's about building relationships that can lead to long-lasting professional connections.
2. Network at Industry-Specific Events
Industry-specific events offer you a chance to network with like-minded individuals and industry experts.
They can range from conferences, seminars, trade shows, and other gatherings that cater to specific professions or industries.
Note: Come prepared with a clear elevator pitch highlighting your skills and experience.
Furthermore, don’t miss the opportunity to participate in panel discussions or Q&A sessions-it can help you be more visible and noticed.
And of course, don’t forget the business cards.
Did you know that having an NFC business card at hand will make you stand out more and look more professional and business-oriented?
In addition, it will enable you to exchange your contact info with more people.
3. Attend Chamber of Commerce Events
Chamber of Commerce events can be valuable for networking with local business owners and professionals.
Furthermore, the local chamber of commerce usually organizes these events while promoting economic growth in the community.
Chamber events can take many forms, from mixers and networking breakfasts to educational seminars and workshops.
The benefit of attending these events is that they offer opportunities for face-to-face interaction with other professionals in your area.
Furthermore, you may also learn about new businesses or services that could be useful for your company.
Note: These events present an opportunity to give back to your community by supporting local businesses and initiatives.
4. Join Roundtables
Roundtables are networking events that bring together a small group of professionals to discuss a particular topic or issue.
Therefore, they provide an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations and exchange ideas with like-minded individuals.
What does it look like?
The structure of roundtables typically involves each participant having the chance to share their insights and perspectives on the chosen subject matter.
Moreover, they offer unique insights into industry trends and challenges while allowing participants to learn from one another's experiences.
Attending a roundtable offers numerous benefits, such as
- enhancing your knowledge base,
- increasing your network, and
- gaining fresh perspectives on issues affecting your industry or business.
5. Attend Workshops
Workshops provide a structured and interactive environment to engage in hands-on learning experiences and expand your knowledge.
And this is actually one of the primary benefits of attending workshops - they offer practical knowledge you can apply immediately in your work or business.
Regarding their format, workshops can range from half-day sessions to multi-day programs.
Nonetheless, they provide you with unique opportunities for personal growth and professional development.
6. Check Happy Hour Networking Events
Happy Hour networking events might be a good choice if you prefer to network in a more relaxed and casual setting.
Generally, they take place after work hours, where attendees can enjoy drinks and appetizers while mingling with other professionals.
A great thing about these events is they aren’t industry-specific, so you never know who you might meet there.
Furthermore, networking at these types of events might seem more natural due to the low-pressure environment.
Note: Remember that you're there for business purposes, so focus on making meaningful connections rather than just having fun (with fun, we mean alcohol).
7. Join Work Breakfast
As the name suggests, these events usually happen early in the morning before you head into your workday.
Same as happy hour events, they provide a less formal environment, meaning you can take your time getting to know others over coffee and pastries instead of feeling pressured to make quick connections.
Another nice perk is that you can meet people who might not be able to attend other networking events due to scheduling conflicts or other obligations.
Finally, starting a day by meeting an interesting person might boost your motivation and productivity throughout the rest of the day.
8. Attend Speed Networking Events
If you like fast-paced events and meeting many people in a short amount of time, speed networking might be up your alley.
In a nutshell, you have no more than 10-15 minutes to talk with an attendee before moving on to the next one.
It is quite intense, so you should have an elevator pitch or a short introduction ready since you don’t have time to waste.
Besides business cards, it’s useful to have notes to write down the key facts about people you meet quickly.
ProTip: With digital business cards, such as Tapni, you can instantly share your information and relevant links in one place.
And the other person doesn’t need to have a Tapni profile to receive your information - a simple scan of your card or the QR code will do.
9. Network at Job Fairs
Job fairs are an excellent choice if you’re on a job hunt because you can network with potential employers and learn more about the job market.
These events are big and take place in large venues, such as convention centers, hotels, etc.
Moreover, attending job fairs enables you to meet face-to-face with recruiters from many different companies and get a head start compared to other candidates who may only apply online.
Note: It's important to come prepared, so bring plenty of copies of your resume, dress professionally, research the companies you like, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
10. Network at Trade Shows
Trade shows are similar to job fairs since they also take place in larger venues and gather a great number of people.
However, the difference is that you are promoting your services and raising brand awareness instead of looking for a job here.
Furthermore, they are excellent for networking with people in your industry because they bring together companies and individuals sharing the same interests, products or services.
Attending trade shows is also a great way to learn about new trends in your industry, get inspired by other exhibitors' ideas, and gather valuable information.
Note: To maximize your networking opportunities, stay focused on building relationships rather than just making sales or getting leads.
Furthermore, take the time to listen carefully and understand what people need so that you can provide value back.
11. Join Community Group Events
It is the fact that it’s easier to mingle and feel more at ease around like-minded people. Thus, local community events give you the opportunity to meet with people who share your passion and interests.
These events range from volunteer opportunities to neighborhood clean-ups or local festivals and fairs.
Attending community group events allows you to network with others in your area while making a difference in your community. It's a win-win situation, right?
In addition, it is an excellent way to gain new skills or experiences that will enhance your resume or CV.
Equally important, attending local events provides insight into the unique culture of your town or city so you may discover new businesses or individuals you otherwise wouldn’t have met.
And from a more altruistic point of view, joining these events fosters a sense of belonging within your local area while expanding both personal and professional horizons.
12. Join Social Media Events
Social media is undoubtedly great for networking and expanding your existing contact list.
Depending on your type of business and clients, sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., might be a good place to search for events, webinars, conferences, etc.
You can join relevant groups, engage in discussions, connect with other members and check the upcoming events.
One thing is for sure, social media has opened up countless opportunities for networking with professionals from all types of industries both locally and internationally.
Whether you prefer in-person or online interactions, there's something for everyone on our list of 12 types of networking events.
To get the most out of these events, make sure to:
🔥 Do the research to see if the event is your cup of tea and how much it caters to you and your type of audience.
🔥 Prepare your business cards - They still remain the main networking staple.
🔥 Dress appropriately depending on the type of event you attend.
🔥 Participate in the event by asking questions, listening, and sharing information about yourself and what you do.
Remember that attending these events is just the first step - following up and nurturing your connections for lasting benefits is equally important.
ProTip: Digital solutions, such as Tapni, automate the follow-up process by sending your contacts directly to your CRM to schedule a follow-up reminder.
Note: A great alternative to paper business cards is digital business cards.
They are a one-time investment since you can easily update your info countless times without printing a new batch every time.
Wrapping It Up
Attending the right events can help you build long-lasting relationships with like-minded individuals who can open doors to new opportunities in your career.
And with digital solutions such as Tapni, you can elevate your networking and make it more time-saving and efficient.
So how can Tapni help?
💣 You can create fully customizable digital business cards and accessories.
💣 Scan and get the info from paper business cards.
💣 Organize new contacts but also regroup and move them, label and tag them, etc.
💣 Schedule follow-up reminders to be proactive after the event.
💣 Automatically send messages to everyone who has visited your profile.
💣 Exchange and share info in multiple ways, by scanning or tapping, via email, messages, etc.
💣Benefit from Tapni’s analytics tool and measure ROI at events, etc.
Create your Tapni profile today and maximize networking opportunities next time you attend an event!
1. How Can I Make My Virtual Event More Fun?
Engaging the attendees is no easy task. In general, you can use gamification, create breakout rooms, allow Q&A sessions, start pre-event icebreaker chats, etc.
Keep Learning: 10 Virtual Networking Ideas You Should Implement Today
2. What Shouldn’t I Do at a Networking Event?
You shouldn’t stay silent and not engage in a conversation. In addition, you shouldn’t make it all about yourself but actively listen to the other person and show you appreciate the conversation.
3. How do I Make a Good Impression at a Networking Event?
You should come prepared, have your business cards at hand, and have your elevator pitch ready. Furthermore, you should show interest in others and actively participate in conversations.
Note: Having a unique digital business card will definitely make you memorable.
How To Create a Digital Business Card With a QR Code Easily
5 Zoom Networking Event Ideas To Try in 2023
How To Create a Digital Business Card - 6 Steps To Digitalization
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