Have you visited any offline Business Networking events recently? I was glad to be invited by Mariya Endreva, representing Dobrev&Lyutskanov at their regular meet- up last week. Here are my key takeaways:
- it’s worth starting the business day by meeting some new like-minded people
- the presence of 100+ professionals in a single place is energizing
- it’s easy to be part of an already established networking process
- trust goes two ways: it could be either gained or lost at cross points of common interests and influence
- it’s beneficial for both personal and professional growth and for producing business results
- it’s a good example of efficient time management
- at the same time, if your specialty is in a small niche then relationship building possibilities could be limited
I see the BNI concept as a hybrid between a form of Chamber of Commerce and a Digital Network with the respective pro and cons of face to face relationships and interactions. However, both networking formats share gaining trust even though for two very different reasons. While one can’t trust a new contact in the virtual world immediately before getting to know them through engagement and interaction around a shared interest, it’s also true that a person can’t be trusted immediately for their known contradictory behavior in the physical world either.
That said anyone is free to join any networking structure that they like and there is never a perfect organization either. So, if BNI is available where you are living, I would recommend that you check the local community. If rules apply globally, one may participate in two events and take advantage of being recommended to the network. Watch this video to feel the atmosphere. Credit for the video to Dobrev & Lyutskanov
I have previously created a coverage for Communication 221 Public Relations Event for South-East Europe, IBM”s Event Number One and series of event overviews in “Events” section.