Networking is just about going to events, right? Well, not exactly. Many would be networkers equate event attendance with networking. They invest months and even years going to events and are not able to make valuable connections. By viewing event attendance as networking these individuals are not evolving the relationships that they begin at events past the superficial level and hence are not creating the depth of relationship that meaningful exchange is based on.
Effective networking is built on three core activities: meeting people at events (or otherwise), meeting a subset of these people one-on-one, and then creating continued connection or follow-up. A good rule of thumb for how to balance these activities is:
- 40% attending events
- 40% one-on-one meetings
- 20% continuance or follow-up activities