The idea of networking can be nerve-wracking for many people. Most are not comfortable being in a room full of strangers in an attempt to garner new connections. However, despite the awkwardness these situations can present, they are also very beneficial and, in some cases, critical for growth. Plus, networking events come in a variety of forms and you are likely to find one that suits your personality. Whether it is a happy hour or a workshop, new opportunities to network are coming forth every day. Let’s take a look at some of the networking events that might be worth your time.
Regardless of your industry, whether it be marketing, retail, accounting, or any other field, there are always people you can learn from. So, it would be in your best interest to take advantage of networking events in your area that feature a speaker or speakers on a topic that is directly related to your position or your department. This will give you the chance to learn from experts. You can ask specific and insightful questions that you wouldn’t normally ask in a webinar or online Q&A session. You will have these experts in person, so take the time to pick their brains and soak up all the knowledge you can.
Roundtable events can be similar to speaking engagements in the sense that they are useful for anyone looking for knowledge that will allow them to advance in their careers. You will have the opportunity to communicate with your peers in your industry. These roundtable events allow for open forums and discussions that can lead to creative ideas, and new directions to take the industry. These events are great, especially if you find yourself stuck on particular project or proposal, as you can garner the advice of others in your field, you will be able to make new connections as well.
Given this digital age of networking, there are more opportunities for introverts to benefit from networking. You can find plenty of networking groups and forums on sites like LinkedIn as well as other networks that promote communication, problem-solving, and relationship-building whether it be business or personal. So, if you are someone who is nervous around others, this can be a great place to dip your toes in.