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Top 10 Effective Networking Events to Connect with Industry Professionals

Top 10 Effective Networking Events to Connect with Industry Professionals

Is building a professional network challenging? 

 

To some point it is. However, if you know what it takes to conduct effective networking events, you’ll find that it is not an impossible feat at all, especially if you are just starting your career. 

 

So far, the best strategy in bringing your audience together is to create an event. This helps a lot in building not only your brand, but sincere relationships. That way, you can maintain loyalty among your target market. 

 

Before you host, it’s better that you know what a networking event stands for and what you can gain out of creating one.

 

What are networking events?

What are networking events?
Image by alice-photo/Shutterstock

 

Networking events are social events where industry professionals convene to share knowledge of the common industry and at times, trade secrets. These relationship building events are good for meeting more people who are talking the same language as yours. 

 

Although some who will be attending have different fields of interests, the common ground is meeting people face-to-face and creating new acquaintances. You can also learn about another industry. This makes the event more productive as you can gain extra knowledge than what you already know.

 

Hence, you have to be sure that there is a correlation between your audience and their industry. What other networking opportunities do is to get other individuals to talk about relevant matters more so if the topic is too broad.

 

Networking with Potomac Officers Club’s Elite gets you to meet key players in the government contracting industry. Click here to join!

 

So, what do most professionals consider as the best networking events? There are many types but here, we are going to briefly discuss how they differ from one another.

 

10 Types of networking events you can use to connect with industry professionals

You can host different types of networking events to gather or meet other business professionals. Gatherings may vary in numbers of attendees, audience, level of formality, as well as purpose. Take a look at the uniqueness of the networking events we are highlighting below.

 

Seminars or Webinars

10 Types of networking events: Seminars or Webinars
Image by Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock

 

In these networking events, there is a need for an invite before you can be accepted at the venue. Aside from invites, some seminars allocate their attendees with pre-reserved tickets Here, speakers are industry leaders or subject matter experts (SMES).

 

Key benefits include speaker’s insights and information provided during the event, guidance, and connecting with people other than your friends who have similar goals as yours. 

 

In recent years, webinars or online seminars on the other hand have grown exponentially and target super busy individuals.

 

Happy Hour Meetups

Top 10 Effective Networking events: Happy Hour Meet-Ups
Image by CarlosBarquero/Shutterstock

 

After a hard day’s grind, there’s no other idea more welcoming than getting together over happy hour. There, you can let your hair down, talk lazy, laugh, or slouch while trying to get familiar with your coworkers. 

 

Well, not only that, you can invite friends from other offices if they are available. This one’s a huge opportunity to gain new ideas on just about anything at all! But as a reminder, you need not double-up on booze to maintain your appearance and way of thinking.

 

University or College Lectures

Top 10 Effective Networking events: College, University or College Lectures
Image by Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock

 

Lectures and talks at colleges or universities are superb means of forging new friendships and fresh connections. You can share your enthusiasm and interests while learning new skills and knowledge aside from building links. 

 

Educational institutions organize these networking events for students, including their alumni. You’ll get a chance to present yourself to other students, mentors, and professionals in the same field. 

 

Roundtable Discussions

Top 10 Effective Networking events: Roundtable Discussions
Image by Dizfoto/Shutterstock

 

Roundtable discussions are go-to options when it comes to bringing people together in one venue. Interactive sessions such as these provide huge opportunities for professionals in the same field. 

 

Sharing ideas and exploring a range of topics enables further growth of professional networks. Connecting with like-minded individuals makes up for gaining powerful insights and useful information that are useful in their respective industry. 

 

What’s more, you can stare at each attendee straight in the eye as you face all of them in one big circle seating formation.

 

Charity Shows or Events

Top 10 Effective Networking Events: Charity Shows or Events
Image by Naamtoey/Shutterstock

 

Fundraising and other charitable events such as meet-ups, auctions, lunches, projects, or concerts provides a platform where you can share a common cause. You can create meaningful relationships in these events because you share the same passion. 

 

These networking events bring together public servants, charitable institutions, donors, and other believers in the charity work you profess to help. Events that are meant for the good of the community are tops when thinking about where you can connect with more people in the charity-driven landscape.

 

Conferences, conventions, or summits

Top 10 Effective Networking Events: Conferences, conventions, or summits
Image by r.classen/Shutterstock

 

Professional conferences are productive business networking gatherings and are composed of companies or industry professionals coming from both government and private sectors. The purpose may range from providing information or updates, discussing new trends, or thinking about innovation.

 

The 10th Annual Defense R&D Summit is an excellent example of gathering where you can witness and hear the sharing of expertise, industry innovations in the government contracting industry, and the future that holds the U.S. Military.

 

Related topic: Dr. William Casebeer, Director of Riverside Research for AI and ML, Joins the 10th Annual Defense R&D Summit

 

Job Fairs

Top 10 Networking events: Job Fairs
Image by M.Pakats/Shutterstock

 

Career or job fairs are events where you can meet people with different talents, hobbies, lifestyles, and industries. These are effective ways of meeting candidates and assessing their capabilities for a given job. 

 

Recruiters can see applicants in person, and new graduates are able to take a closer look at roles they want to step into. Here, it is easy and fast to make informed decisions. There’s a possibility that the best candidates can go home with an offer right away!

 

Speed networking events

Top 10 Effective Networking events: Speed Networking
Photo from Drake University Newsroom

 

In speed networking, participants meet and interact with a big number of attendees using a short period of time. Just like in speed dating, there’s a limited amount of time allotted for Participant A to talk before going to the next participant.

 

In this event, guests are seated across from each other. They will then introduce themselves, start discussing their professional experiences, and get to participate in the exchange of contact information. 

 

After consuming the allotted time, the participants will have to move to a new chair to meet another participant. The process continues until everyone has made a connection.

 

Workshops

Top 10 Effective Networking Events: Workshops
Image by Master1305/Shutterstock

 

Another way of showcasing your skills and talents is by joining workshops. Nevertheless, you must get into one that’s relevant to your field. Otherwise, it destroys your enthusiasm. In workshops, attendees are given time to demonstrate what they can do best. 

 

So, it’s time for you to show what you know so others may think that you are a valuable addition to their list of friends or acquaintances. There are lots of positive outcomes from workshops, by far.

 

Alumni networking events

Top 10 Effective Networking events: Alumni Networking
Image by ImageFlow/Shutterstock

 

Networking groups like alumni associations are great resources for connecting with seasoned professionals and aspiring individuals. Homecomings bring together batches of students of the same courses and that’s a great relief if you are just starting to place a pin on your professional journey map. 

 

The bond that ties you with an alumni association helps you get exciting opportunities from older members of the alumni roster. Additionally, having studied in the same school can sometimes give you a high level of trust.

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Tags: 10th Annual Defense R&D Summit alumni associations Alumni Networking Charity Shows Conferences conventions happy hour meet-ups Job Fairs networking events Networking groups Roundtable Discussions seminars Speed Networking Summits University or College Lectures webinars Workshops