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Career Advice

The advantages and disadvantages of the networking meetup

The advantages and disadvantages of the networking meetup…
The Chamber of Commerce. Breakfast clubs. Speed Networking. The handshakes. The smiles. The small talk….I for one, am not the best fan of the networking groups or meetups that you are ‘encouraged’ to go to as part of your job.
But some people must love them, as they happen everywhere; from jobs-clubs, to entrepreneurial societies, to cup-cake-makers, to antique collector societies…

Perhaps ‘meetups’ can only be really beneficial to people that go of their own accord? If you are feeling reluctant to go to an ‘actual real-life networking event (as apposed to the internet groups you can join) perhaps the answer is that you are not 100% passionate or committed to why you were going in the first place.

Perhaps the internet has made it easier for people to think they are making friends with the contacts they make online, rather than the more personable, and yes, slightly more scary scenario of meeting with a group of well intentioned people, face to face. The good thing, as well, about the organised offline meetup, is that people are generally there for a similar reason….so with this in mind, check out below my list of advantages and disadvantages in the ‘networking meetup’ and a few thoughts from networking guru Patrick Power, who outlines his support for the whole affair…

Advantages of Networking

  • You get to meet a group of like minded individuals
  • You make new contacts – both one-on-one and as a team
  • It will help you focus on what you are looking to achieve
  • Get new ideas, inspiration and motivation
  • You can be empowered and re-energised
  • You may learn new things very quickly and without research
  • You may find support to take your projects forward
  • You may find partners – both financially and emotionally for what you are looking to achieve!

Disadvantages of Networking

    • Some people are false and really only there to sell their own services
    • Some people hate small talk and therefore would find this type of event quite unnerving
    • Some people hate networking for the sake of it – without an actual and planned end result
    • Once you go – you can feel obliged to keep going or take part!
    • You can end up with other responsibilities
    • Could be joining a clique – that  clique is not always productive or respected outside of the circle!
    • You can avoid all the small talk by just using the internet…

Patrick M Power, Founder of ‘Entrepreneurs in London’ argues the case ‘for’ Meetups of page 2…

 

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Discussion

5 Responses to “The advantages and disadvantages of the networking meetup”

  1. If you are feeling reluctant to go to an ‘actual real-life meet up’

    Not necessarily. I have been to several ‘small business meet-ups’ in Chamber of Commerce regi to network with other small businesses as a way to get to know potential clients and potential suppliers. It was good for the reasons you mention under ‘advantages’. We didn’t get concrete clients/projects, but had several meetings with good potential suppliers/allies afterwards.

    However, I strongly disliked being at the events for several of the reasons you mention under ‘disadvantages’ … People were very superficial and there was many ‘pitchers’ who were there only to pitch their product/service and not to learn from others (they still send me spam emails). The networking events were extremely noisy and very social, cocktail party style, it was also hard to hear what people said (but I have specific poor skills in that direction). And I hate small talk.

    …Not everyone who tries to run a small business from home actually likes to go to noisy ‘cocktail parties’.

    There are other ways to network offline, for example:

    Attend free or cheap courses for small businesses like accounting or social media marketing courses. Here in Sydney such courses/workshops/presentations are offered regularly, sponsored by state government trade and investment organisations and the presenting organisations (they usually have a commercial interest in it as well). Such events are structured, not noisy, have a specific focus, and socialising is voluntary. + The participants aren’t necessarily there solely to self-promote.

    Posted by Mados | April 4, 2012, 9:36 am
  2. The quote was supposed to be:

    If you are feeling reluctant to go to an ‘actual real-life meet up’, (as apposed to the internet groups you can join) perhaps the answer is that you are not 100% passionate or committed to why you were going in the first place.

    🙂

    Posted by Mados | April 4, 2012, 9:41 am
  3. Hi there Mados – cheers for this – some really good points here and thank you for your continued feedback and thoughts

    Posted by theemployable | April 4, 2012, 10:21 am
  4. her is a meetup for the unemployed in london

    http://www.job-hunters-london.org.uk/

    My experience of meetups is ‘very random’ so they are worth going to if they fit into my schedule anyway but I would not go out to one specifically, it is just a ‘i was nearby today anyway so popped in’ thing for me…. bit like a ‘drink in the pub” after work kinda thing.

    Posted by jason palmer | April 4, 2012, 10:51 am

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