How To Find The Right Networking Event For You

So you want to meet new people to network with. But where are they? And which is the right one for you?

Ideally, ask someone you know who is already networking to give you some ideas on where to network. Meet Up, for example, is an online place to find where people are meeting for different interest groups in a particular area. I strongly recommend this if you are new to anything, anywhere!

Below are some different organisations and types of ways to network.

Speed Networking | Chamber of Commerce | Business Networking Inc | Sporting Clubs | Exclusive Clubs | Industry Events | Meet Up | Art Exhibitions | School Events | Community Events and Organisations | Private or Exclusive Events | Online Forums and Communities | Social Media Linked In- Twitter- Facebook | Volunteering | Lions Club | Quota | Rotary | Seminars and Workshops | Book Clubs | Cooking Classes.

Remember, networking means different things to different people. Ask yourself the following questions

1. Who am I wanting to meet/what is my purpose? Business or pleasure? Are you wanting to meet new clients; new suppliers; new friends; colleagues from your industry; mentors; new business partners; investors; employees; people who are in a particular industry or have common interests? Don’t always assume that for business you need to go to events where only your potential clients are.

2. How many networking events do you want to attend each week or month or year? How frequently do you want to attend any one networking event? I can literally go to a networking event every day for almost every day of the year. But I wouldn’t get much work done if I did!

3. What are my limitations? Cost? Travel time/distance/location? Time to attend? Time to contribute to the organisation? Some networking events cost money to attend, not including the additional costs of meals, drinks, contributions etc. Where the event is and the time commitment to attend is also a factor. Some networking events are not just networking but also part of an organisations official meeting.

Networking is about meeting people. Don’t immediately dismiss an event because those attending are not the people you want to meet. Getting to know these people and making them a part of your network might open you to other people who you are wanting to meet.

If you want to find me, I have my “Where I Will Be” page letting people know what events I am attending for business. I also link a little blog I do on the event as well.

Personally, I use Meet Up to meet new people once a week for both the personal and professional interaction. I have made this part of my goals for 2014.

So now you can find events to network at. But what do you need to do to start networking? Find out in my next post!

~ Damien Foley

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Brisbane Lord Mayors Economic Development Business Forum- Building an Online Presence

I am in the process of having a provisional patent done for a phone app idea I have. So this was a great event to attend to find out more about why business should have an online presence in our global online economy and what is being done in Brisbane to promote our IT innovations.

George Fidler, General Manager of Kixeye, gave his experience as a start up IT business. What I took away from George is that you have to persist. You learn more from your mistakes then you do from your successes. And as a result your mistakes make your business stronger. I agree, if you are going to make mistakes, make them early in your business life and make plenty of them. If you don’t make mistakes, then you aren’t pushing your limits! George also made reference to the book “Lean Start Up”. In talking to George after the presentation, he again gave me the advice to read this book (or listen as an audio!) for my future phone app project. He also gave me the advice to find a programmer to work on my project referencing the IT incubator, River City Labs, as a starting point.

Bob Dunne, Principal at Strateneering, gave his story of how he started capitalrater.com. He initially started with a local focus of Sydney and Brisbane but quickly expanded it to be a global provider. He doesn’t understand why anyone in business isn’t online and looking beyond their local geographical boundary. Business is made easier with the internet! I asked Bob on his advice on putting together a start up IT team and who he would bring on. He said he would bring in people he already knew, who complimented his own skills and had the ability to go into a start up business.

Kieran O’Hea, Brisbane’s Chief Digital Officer gave an interesting, but rushed, presentation on both the digital economy and Brisbane’s role in this. For Example, over 66% of people in Australia have a smart phone and use its additional features. 41% of phone users over 50 have a smart phone. Hopefully the organisers will send out his slide presentation!

At this event I met some other interesting people

Jim is the Development Executive at Scan Conversion Services. He assists organisations to convert their paper documents to an electronic document on mass. Handy if you have documents that need to be stored in electronic format.

Jeanette is a Business Development Manager from Commonwealth Bank. It was good to meet Jeanette as I want to find out more about her role on the Not For Profit Working Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA). Foley Business Management is a service provider to the NFP or Social Enterprise sector.

Clinton is a Patent and Trade Marks Attorney for Cullens. Clinton was incredibly helpful discussing the benefits of having a patent for IT ideas you are wanting to take to concept and then taking it to a full patent. Clinton is someone I will likely be wanting to talk to when I develop a working concept of my phone app.

To find out what other events I will be attending in the future go to my Where I Will Be page.

~ Damien Foley

Networking- Its not what you know but who you know!

Networking is a great way to meet new people and make new contacts. Here are 7 reasons why you should network

Grant Hackett and Damien Foley
Grant Hackett and Damien Foley- RDA Gold Coast Event October 2011.
  • Build your network of contacts- Networking allows you to expand your existing contacts, increasing your pool of clients and suppliers. I have met numerous people by networking.
  • Learn new things- By meeting new people, I have learnt new things about my industry and especially about the needs of my customers.
  • Build your profile and professional brand- Become more recognised by your peers, clients, suppliers and the community. Build your professional brand (We will discuss your personal or professional brand in another post later). I have been asked to join committee’s, speak at conferences and become involved with local community groups because of networking.
  • Gain access to powerful and influential people- Through my networks I have had meetings with some very powerful and influential people in government and business. Networking lets you meet people you ordinarily wouldn’t get access to by walking up and starting a conversation.
  • Make strong relationships upon which you can leverage- I met the secretary of a very influential person. By making a good relationship with her, I was able to gain her trust to give me an introduction to her boss.
  • Build self esteem and confidence- When I first started I was nervous. But many of the people who network felt exactly the same way when they first started. With practice you will learn to network with the best of them.
  • Have Fun!- Meeting new people is a whole lot of fun and a great way to make new friends.

Meet Up- Brisbane Business Owners and Entrepreneurs Networking Event

I had a great night meeting some new people in business last night. Hosted by Servcorp, it was held at the Riparian Plaza, 71 Eagle St, Brisbane.

Some people I met

Harry from Civil 2 Mining Group who had a great conversation with about marketing and sales. Harry specialises in selling to the resource sector on behalf of clients. Look forward to meeting up with him again.

Paul is looking to start his own accounting practice so was doing research into what area he was going to focus on. I could understand Paul’s position of making the transition from employee to business owner and the steps involved. I made the offer to Paul to call me to have a coffee to discuss his business.

Danni works for CSG Business Solutions as an Account Executive. CSG sells and leases printers of all descriptions. It was good to hear her story of how she came to work for CSG. with CSG also being in West End I will hopefully look to catch up with Danni to talk about some things I am doing with Foley Business Management.

Chris from Cyber Guru is in IT consulting and training. It was great making the connection with Chris as he works with similar clients with whom I will be dealing with in the future. Chris also introduced me to Andrew who gave me some great advice on some possible connections I can make.

For where I will be next, go to the Where I Will Be page.