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Career Advice

The advantages and disadvantages of the networking meetup

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

“The benefit of doing real live meetups is just amazing and maybe even more powerful today than 10 years ago, because even the best connection with an online “friend” can never beaten by the power of face-to-face… Not unless there will be a new technology in the future that allows us to tap directly into people’s real emotions and thoughts.

Another great benefit of being a member of a group is that you can get validation from the group. What I mean by that is when you have built a relationship with a few people and they trust you it’s easier to influence new people to trust you, because when people see the other people in the group trusting you they will automatically assume you are trustworthy. When you continue to grow your group of fans it will become more and more powerful and the more people that trust you, the more iconic your status will become. It’s like being the chief of a small tribe, but there is no limitation to how big you can build the tribe. If it becomes big enough you can start to get some real influence on a bigger scale.

So where do you start? It depends a lot on who and where you are but I would typically go on www.Meetup.com. Facebook, linkedin and google+ groups are also great and if you have time you should probably have a group on all of them, but the most effective for me has been meetup.com.

My 2 entrepreneurial meetups (The main one being www.entrepreneursinlondon.co.uk) now have over 2,600 members. One of the things I love about meetup.com is that the people that come there want to meet in the real world as opposed to the other ones where some of the people just want to hide behind a computer screen. Good luck with your tribe building …”

So if you fancy a bit of face-to-face networking where can you go?
Good places to start to find meetups in the UK and Ireland would be sites like; findnetworkingevents.com or meetup.com and, like Patrick said above, Linkedin and Facebook for open groups of specific interest can be a great place to start too. If you are more interested in organising an event eventbrite.co.uk might be a good place to start and again meetup.com ticks the right boxes.

Perhaps as I said initially – you have to love what you are there to talk about, to be really interested in the first place. I can’t wait to talk to people, both in person and online, about TheEmployable or Startacus, our two working projects – so perhaps this is a point proven…after all you do not get tens of thousands of Star Trek fans meeting up just cause they think warp speed is, just ‘okay’! 

Need more help on how to Search and Apply for Jobs – you might want to check out TheEmployable ebook.

*Patrick Powers, is an expert on direct response copywriting, pitching and networking, author of  3 highly acclaimed business books among other” Turn Your contact into cash”. He is also founder of www.entrepreneursinlondon.co.uk a community of entrepreneurs that offers regular networking and training events. To connect with Patrick find him at www.patrickmpowers.com

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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


    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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