How to get the most benefit from running networking events

Being on the team for any networking group or organisation is a huge opportunity.
 
I’ve just written some really specific advice for one of my 121 clients about how they can make best use of their membership of a networking team. And it prompted me to write some more general advice here.
 
In the first place, I always chose to look at everything in terms of what the opportunity was, not just as a set of tasks which needed completing. Here’s how I used my networking team role (I was on the 4Networking team for eight years, starting as Group Leader Of 4N Witney back in 2007).
 
Invite existing clients as visitors – this made so much sense to me. I made sure that my networking Group was incredibly valuable, and wanted my clients to see some of that value too.
 
Invite prospective clients as visitors – I always found this a much easier ‘sale’ than inviting people to let me pitch to them, with ultimately the same result.
 
Invite suppliers as visitors – once again, why wouldn’t I? They might pick up some new clients as a result and, because I choose suppliers who provide exceptional value, I wanted my other contacts to benefit from meeting them.
 
Doing all of the above built my reputation as the ‘go to’ person in my network, locally, regionally and ultimately nationally.
 
An opportunity which was often overlooked, and I always encouraged other team members to take advantage of, was to network within the team. As the team had to communicate regularly, we could also use some of that time to actively look out for opportunities for each other – what’s not to like?

“I implemented one more thing from the Retreat and it has resulted in a new client which gives me a positive ROI within 6 days”
Claire McTernan – Employee to Business Owner

“within two months I went from an average of one client per month from networking, to five clients”
Samantha Rollins, Trinity Accountants