On-line, face-to-face, or hybrid?
This is the most important question that needs answering when thinking about business networking, post-pandemic. Each model has its own advantages and disadvantages, of course, and if you’re looking to network, it’s a good idea to check what format it takes beforehand. Networking groups will be keen to attract lots of business owners, so they’ll try and offer what people want and be flexible in their approach. You’ll need to be flexible too and pick and choose events that suit you best.
The benefit of on-line networking is that you can share more specific information with the whole of the network. Therefore, come prepared with some clear messages and information that you can put in the chat thread of the event with contact details of how people can follow up with you.
If you are going to a hybrid event then also consider having someone physically present in the event, to meet and engage with people face to face, but also someone on-line providing the messaging, information and follow-up contact details as you would at an on-line event
Social media networking is on the rise
Using social media can help you network with the right people if done properly. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have huge numbers of people looking for business services, and businesses looking to expand their network, so being on these sites can be advantageous to you.
However, make sure you research which sites are best for your business before you start. Facebook, for example, is great for small businesses as you can advertise to people looking for goods and services you offer. YouTube, on the other hand, is perfect for networking your business through video marketing.
Social media is one area that will continue to grow as more platforms and apps come on to the market. There might be some that are specific to your industry, or some that will make it much simpler for everyone to find someone or something they really need. And technology in general will continue to be one of the big drivers for change in business and networking. It’s important to stay in the loop and keep an eye on what’s happening – advancements in VR and immersive tech, for example, might be used as a way of showcasing products and services at networking events.