In the age of remote interaction, you could be forgiven for thinking that physical networking events were something of an unnecessary corporate expense. After all, social media giants such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have revolutionized the way in which individuals build their professional contacts and interact with their clients and colleagues, and this has created a far more convenient method for networking. So is traditional networking a moribund concept, or does it still have a purpose within the contemporary business market?
Physical Networking: How Marketing Trends Dictate its Relevance
In fact, physical networking is perhaps becoming more relevant than ever in the current business climate, thanks largely to the changeable formats of experimental marketing. In terms of existing trends, there is a clear drive towards creating real time interaction through live and digitally enhanced experiences, and this requires a combination of remote and traditional communication methods. As physical networking brings individuals face to face in single geographical location, it could be argued that this method of interaction offers far greater value to those involved.
Face to face communication undoubtedly creates a much improved experience in both personal and professional environments, as it allows individuals to share far more than mere words. It also encourages a more open and genuinely emotive conversation between two parties, which has numerous benefits within a corporate setting. To begin with, this type of interaction often forms the basis for a strong relationship between brands and their clients, while it is also key to cultivating a thriving team ethic within a specific department or business team.
How Should You Conduct the Ideal Professional Networking Event?
So if traditional networking events remain key in the business market, then how should an organization go about arranging their own? Well the first step is to make the event accessible, so that as many potential contacts as possible attend the chosen location. This is where technology can really prove its value as an affordable networking tool, as marketing the event through social and digital media channels ensures that it will be extremely well attended. This gives you the chance to strike the ideal balance between traditional and social networking, so that everyone exposed is afforded a more diverse experience.
In terms of the event itself, it is important to focus on the individual experience of those involved and how this may be enhanced. While the purpose of a professional networking event is to forge genuine commercial connections or earn potential business, it is important to also introduce unique elements of competition and surprise to the occasion, especially when you consider that some of the best relationships are created through team work or the undertaking of challenges. This also adds to the live nature of the event, and helps attendees to remain as engaged as possible.
The Bottom Line
The age of social media may well have revolutionized the nature of interaction, but professional, traditional networking methods remain a core part of building long term commercial relationships for small and medium businesses. Remember that the ideal networking event should be a fusion of both corporeal and digital communication, so that those who attended are given a multimedia experience that retains their sustained interest.