They call them networking events, mixers, schmoozers, speed networking, open networking… whatever you call it the song seems to remain the same. After all, there is only a small percentage of businesses that attend networking events so you tend to see the same people over and over, month in, month out.
I attended a large business networking event recently and met a business owner from Ancaster just outside Hamilton, Ontario. He suggested that there are only 10 percent on a good night of the attendees of networking events that are new to networking. Some events, he went on, there are no business people that he had not met before at a previous event.
At the recent Simply Networking Event held in Brantford Ontario, one third of attendees indicated they had either never been to a networking event before, or had not attended one for years. But still, two thirds of people in attendance were regulars. The question then is, how to increase the number of new businesses that attend, and how to maintain higher new business percentages at all future networking events.
“I hope to meet and build rapport with other business people not to sell them, but to hopefully be referred to people they know that need kitchen or bathroom renovation services for their home in Brantford. That is what I hope to achieve.” William Lutes of Lutes Enterprises. Lutes Enterprises was a sponsor at March’s Simply Networking Event in Brantford.
And what of consumers. Over 90% of the people I spoke with at the Simply Networking Event that was held at the Piston Broke in Brantford, indicated that they either sell entirely or in part to consumers. What would be the value in attending an event where everyone in the room are business people? Would there be interest in including consumers at some of the networking events that are held?
For this, we decided to try something new for May’s Simply Networking Event being held in Richmond Hill and Brantford Ontario. Our aim is to see the benefit to business and consumer and see if the benefit will make consumer attendance a must have in future events.
I invite your feedback. If you have heard of this elsewhere and know if it was successful or not, please share.