Top 5 Reasons to Attend Business Networking Events
Last week, Cognito hosted our annual summer networking reception in New York on top of the beautiful Midtown Loft & Terrace. This year’s city picnic theme was a huge hit (as were the lobster rolls and grilled cheese) and we enjoyed catching up with our diverse array of clients and industry connections, as well as former and beloved Cognitions.
This year, our networking reception happened to coincide with the Innotribe Startup Challenge and the Next Bank event, which helped us to bring together financial services firms with its financial technology partners. Cognito takes the time to invest in this networking event in the summer, and this year’s gathering surpassed our expectations in terms of attendance and industry dialogue.
Business networking receptions are crucial to an individual’s long-term marketing strategy because most of these social events provide a laid back atmosphere to chat with similar people, and these conversations often lead to opportunities and potential ways to work together.
Still not convinced? Check out the top 5 reasons to attend business networking events:
1. Increase your visibility and hone your marketing message
Networking is more than just personal promotion and getting more customers. It’s really about expanding on your existing network of friends, acquaintances and customers, and leveraging on their networks. These networking events are also the best place to practice and refine your business pitch. Be sure your message is conveyed in 30 seconds or less including what solutions you provide, for whom you provide them and the benefits of doing business with you.
2. Start relationships that will lead to strategic referrals, alliances and joint ventures Networking is part of a long term strategy; it’s about creating, building and nurturing relationships, gaining credibility and trust, and showing off your professionalism, knowledge and expertise.
3. Connect to key influencers in your industry and target market
It’s important to remember that networking does not finish after the event is over; it is useful to send a follow-up email, meet up for lunch or drinks, and connect on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Integrating social media into your networking strategy will take you to the next level of communication with potential customers.
4. Stay current on trends in your industry and target market
Attending networking events hosted by your industry members, or associations related to your target market, allows you to gain insight into current and future trends, industry challenges and potential solutions. This knowledge can easily give you a leg up on the competition.
These types of social events are a great opportunity to have some fun and to get to know your contact beyond outlook appointments and conference calls. Ask them about plans for the summer, what the like to do on the weekends and about good books they are reading.
We want to thank all of our clients and connections for making this year’s networking event a great success and we look forward to growing our existing partnerships and fostering new relationships in the years ahead.
Check out some fantastic pictures from our summer party and remember to get out there and network!