Was it at a crowded bar right before last call? Times Square on New Year’s Eve? A Patriots game? Unless an opportunity presented itself where somehow you could have a one-on-one conversation with somebody, probably not, right. That’s not saying it couldn’t happen. But it makes it far more difficult. The same holds true for networking.
Often times, networkers get hung up on the number of people who will be attending an event or group. Yes, more people means there is more likely to be somebody there with whom you can pass leads and referrals. Yet if the structure of the event is such that you don’t meet that person, it kind of doesn’t matter. That’s the value of groups like My Pinnacle Network.
So, before you dismiss a group or event due to size, ask a few questions:
- Will there be structured as part of the event? If not, then assume that you will probably meet five to 10 percent of the attendees at most
- What types of business owners will be there? B2B? B2C? Most networking events don’t specify one or the other.
- Will the attendees there be the actual owners or staff? Many networkers attend events looking for the decision makers. That can be a little unrealistic. Whether you meet the decision maker or a sales rep, you are taking a first step in building a relationship with that company, not closing a deal.
When networkers dismiss a group or event based on numbers alone, chances are they have not asked any of the above questions before making their decision. While no networking event can be considered the equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel. Most are more like shooting fish in the ocean from the beach.
As a networker, you want to put yourself in position to meet people you can help and vice versa. That doesn’t mean stay away from all large events. Just realize that while quantity improves the likelihood of a good connection being there, it raises the degree of difficulty in making that connection. Just like meeting the future Mr. or Mrs.___.