It’s 2020, should I still be attending networking events? 16 January, 2020 | Networking | 2 min read. In today’s digital age, it’s easier to accept a friend request, add a new connection or respond to a tweet than it is to get out there and attend regular networking events. To some, they may even seem like a waste of time. Yet, if you attend relevant events, you can guarantee that you’re going to be establishing connections and friendships with individuals in the industry. This targeted networking with real-life contacts is more likely to bring increased value to you and your business. So, what are the benefits of networking events? Strengthen your business connections You may argue that this can be achieved through LinkedIn, and we’re not denying that it can be. However, when you’re hit with a ‘new connection request’, there is no guarantee that the person you are about to accept will bring value to your business. Perhaps they will sit as a connection on your page for years to come, never interacting with you and your company. By attending an industry networking event, you are immediately exposed to individuals and businesses who are relevant to your sector. With face-to-face interaction, you can build rapport and form trust between businesses. Once you have started to develop this relationship, you can add this person to your LinkedIn network too – they’re also more likely to interact with your company this way. See different perspectives By increasing exposure to new people, you gain access to new perspectives and ideas. This can help massively to inspire creativity and support you in overcoming any business obstacles you are experiencing. Exchanging information is a key benefit of networking and meeting new individuals as you gain insights you may not have already thought of. Networking is also a great opportunity to exchange best practice knowledge, learn about the business techniques of other businesses within your industry and stay in the know about the latest industry trends. Build your business reputation As you pick up new perspectives, other companies will be learning about your own business best practices as you offer professional advice. This can help to build your reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive person, which will reflect positively on your business. With a positive reputation, your business is likely to pick up more leads. Being visible is also important in getting your business noticed. By regularly attending business and social events, other leaders in the industry will start to recognise you. If you’re planning on attending any networking events, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and have a few relevant points of discussion. Not all your conversations have to be about work, but it’s a good idea to have a few relevant topics in mind to show you really know your stuff. Don’t forget to bring your business cards so you can swap details easily! At EDGE Creative, we run a range of different networking events across the year as a way of giving back to our clients. Our events are by invitation only, but if you are interested in signing up, register your interest here: www.edge-creative.com/network.