Have you considered networking opportunities other than events? If you agree with me that networking is one of the surest ways to expand your horizons wouldn’t it make sense to look for networking opportunities beyond the norm? Networking events, social media meetups, and chamber meetings are all great places to meet people and be introduced to companies. When you think about it—any gathering of folks is a chance to network, and there are a lot of those. As for the wager mentioned in the title, I’m going to offer five alternate networking possibilities—I’ll bet I surprise you with at least one.

5 Networking Opportunities     

Present – Use your expertise to present to clubs and share your knowledge at events. When you’re networking, let folks know you’re willing and able to give a presentation. When you present, arrive early, stay late, and interact with as many people as possible. Being the presenter is your ticket to talk to everyone. How to Add Action to Your Next Presentation (even if it’s virtual)

Volunteer – Help a charity or organization that speaks to your passions, and you’ll connect with like-minded people.  Who could be better to network with?

Take a class – Learn a new skill. It doesn’t matter if it’s academic, the arts, or physical training, you’ll meet people on a common ground, and isn’t that a great place to begin a conversation?

Walk a Trade Show – Please tell me you already do this. If not, schedule time to walk the show and network.

Start a networking group – If you can’t find a group that fits your specific networking needs—start it. Begin a group around hobbies and interests and then help each other. Why Creating a Networking Group Rocks

Maybe I Should Have Started with this…  

The best way to make any of this work is to offer help first. As a presenter ask the audience individually and as a group how you can help. If you’re a volunteer find out what others need. When you walk a trade show ask vendors what they hope to accomplish at the show and many will reciprocate.

Did I Win the Bet?

Were you introduced to a networking opportunity you hadn’t previously considered? Were you at least reminded of one? There are chances to network everywhere whether virtual or in person — if you look for them. If I didn’t give you any new ideas, I lost the bet. I owe you one. Send me a comment, and I’ll pay up — how can I help you?    

How Can I Help You?

I’d always considered myself an effective networker. I’m friendly, easy to talk to, and I’ve never met a stranger. However, none of that makes me a good networker – it makes me outgoing. If I wanted to be the most effective networker I could be, I needed a plan. That’s how my networking workbook, Help Networking started.

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Dylan McLeod on Unsplash