There is a certain stigma that is attached to the title "Networking Events". You get the invitation and you hesitate because you're thinking "Ok, yeah. What are you going to try and sell me". For some it may be the social akwardness of trying to meet 40-50 people in one to two hours. BUT, they can be a very affective weapon in your and/or your companies arsenal.
Being a part of a company that is 1 year old, 3rd Angle Investments, I have watched the tremendous affect it has had on credibility, referrals, and relationship building. As a matter of fact it all started with a networking event. It was Josh Brunsmann, Josh Eaton, and I that decided to wholesale two properties in East Austin, as our first real estate move. Brunz was getting his real estate license and Josh Eaton and I were studying from an investor's perspective. We saw a quick opportunity to make $10,000-$20,000 with no money out of our pockets. So what was one of the first things we did? We went to a networking event in North Austin held at I-Hop by Streamline Funding.
At this networking event we would meet Lamar and Uriel. They are partners together with a company called InvestATX that does real estate investing. With their eagerness to help and our focus on knocking down our first deal, we were able to get ALL of the right questions answered.
Next thing you know, not only did we do our first deal but we sold 2 side by side properties at the same time, to the same buyer.
Since then, our relationship with Lamar and Uriel has progressed. We attend an event every Thursday morning at Big Daddy's in north Austin. Invest ATX and 3rd Angle Investments now host The Cash Flow Party in Austin, AND now Dallas.
The point is, all of this networking created money making connections. We were able to meet other investors, and literally, any contact that we could ever need. And you can do the same!!! No matter your industry or position. It's great for contacts, you will learn a ton, and it keeps you up to speed with your market.
Here are 3 pointers for finding the most effective networking event:
1. Make sure that the events (attend 2-3 regularly) are relative to what you do. Create connections within your industry. If there is not a networking event in your area for your industry, then consider starting one yourself.
2. Do a bit of research on the event/party. What kind of value does it offer? How is the attendance? Is there a guest speaker? Are you able to share about you and your company? Google it, check out Event Brite, and ask around.
3. Start attending. Test them out. You are wise and will easily spot the ones that are the best for your needs. Make sure it offers value, you see regular attendees, and you can comfortably make new connections.