Effortless Networking: Finding the right networking group or event

Sri Dasgupta

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Have you ever wondered about how to make connections with the right people in your target market or industry? Or how to find the best networking event or group to suit your business and your personality? Or even how to get the most out of every event you attend?

Well, before I answer the question, let me ask you a question first: whom specifically do you want to meet?

Your answer will help you find the right group or event.

For instance, did you know that there's professional association, conference or trade show for practically any group of people you can think of?

Professional associations typically have regular chapter meetings and events. Conferences and trade shows are obviously organized for interested people to attend.

If you're clear about whom you want to meet, it's a matter of finding out where these people might congregate, so you can go there!

Google is a wonderful tool (what did we do before the internet?!).

I did a quick search for professional associations in London, UK, and I got a long list of all kinds of groups: associations for sales people, healthcare providers, tourist guides, private investigators, and more!

I did another search for high tech conferences in Ottawa, and another one for small busiess trade shows in Florida. Each time, I got back pages of information within seconds.

So, whom do you want to meet? Small business owners? People in the high tech industy? Healthcare providers?

The clearer you are, the better able you will be to focus your search - whether online or offline - to find the right group or event.

But wait, I have another question for you: *why* do you want to meet these people? Are you interested in prospecting or networking or both?

Your answer to this question will help you determine whether to go to a trade show, conference, business mixer or chapter meeting of a professional association.

So, what's your objective for meeting these people?

  • What will you talk to them about, when you meet them?
  • And what's the best setting for the type of conversation you want to have?

Have I given you enough food for thought? Well, enjoy the process of fine tuning your objectives. It will serve you well!

(c) Copyright 2006, Srirupa Dasgupta

Sri Dasgupta helps business professionals get better results from their business networking efforts through focused and relevant conversations. She is the author of the Effortless Networking , and writes regular articles offering business networking tips and related resources.


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