Attending networking events is a great way to start building your network or widening your circle of professional contacts, which is crucial for career success. You can increase the number of contacts you make through networking by participating in a variety of formal and informal in-person and online career networking events.
5 Different Networking Event Types
What are networking events?
Professional groups can come together at networking events to form connections. Each event you attend may look different. Some are more relaxed and give participants time for conversation. There are others that are more organized and might include a lecture or presentation. These gatherings serve as a platform for industry professionals to expand their networks.
10 types of networking events
The following list of 10 networking events can help you expand your network and advance your career:
1. Happy hour meetups
Happy hour meetups are a casual type of networking event. Typically, the event’s planners will lease your group a section of a bar or restaurant. Everyone is welcome to enjoy a few drinks and small bites during happy hour while mingling with other businesspeople. It’s a low-risk way to get to know other professionals on a personal level because of the relaxed atmosphere.
2. Industry-specific seminars
An industry-specific seminar offers you the chance to learn about a variety of subjects that are pertinent to your profession or industry. The majority of event planners schedule time before the seminar so that you can network with other professionals. Generally, there will be light snacks and refreshments to enjoy. During the seminar, a subject matter expert from the industry instructs the group on a subject For instance, if you attend a seminar devoted to marketing, you might learn about subjects like social media strategies, copywriting methods, or email marketing.
3. Virtual groups
There are numerous virtual groups you can join for networking purposes that are industry- or job-specific. They frequently use social media platforms or online discussion boards. To let members know about various virtual networking events, the group may use email newsletters or Slack messages. When a subject matter expert from the industry presents online via video conferencing, that is a typical kind of virtual meeting. Additionally, an event planner might host a live Q&A session where you can message or video chat with other experts about specific queries you have.
4. Career fairs
Career fairs are great opportunities for networking for those just starting their careers. Throughout the academic year, a lot of colleges and universities host career fairs for students to attend. You can speak with representatives from various companies at this event. It’s an opportunity for you to introduce yourself and inquire about their business. At career fairs, many employers with openings have booths, so taking advantage of this chance to hand representatives your resume will help them remember you when you apply for a position.
5. Conferences/trade shows
Many industries combine conferences and trade shows. In essence, a trade show is a venue where companies from a particular sector can display their goods and services. Usually held at a sizable expo center, trade shows feature company-sponsored booths. At each booth or exhibition, those interested in these goods or services can speak with representatives, providing a useful opportunity for businesses and their customers to interact in person.
Some industries add a conference portion to the trade show. Guests can participate in a range of industry-related seminars and keynote addresses during this time. Many of these presentations count toward continuing education hours. Professionals have the opportunity to congregate at such events and network with one another.
6. Breakfast or luncheon meetings
An event coordinator prepares food for everyone in attendance to enjoy at a breakfast or luncheon meeting as they get to know one another. The purpose of these meetings can vary. If you belong to a group, you might get together to plan projects or talk about important issues. Other times, the event’s coordinator might ask someone to speak. Meetings over breakfast or lunch give you the chance to speak with and network with other businesspeople.
7. Community service groups
Volunteers and donors can interact in community service organizations. You might go to an event like this if you work for a nonprofit to meet the people who support your cause. Likewise, participating in this kind of event as a volunteer is a fantastic way to meet people in the neighborhood and expand your network of contacts. It’s also a wonderful way to support a worthwhile cause.
8. Speed networking
Professionals can connect with other professionals more quickly by participating in speed networking events. Similar to speed dating, you meet with a different professional for a predetermined amount of time. You can introduce yourself, ask a few questions, and exchange contact details during this meeting. Event planners may even give you talking points in advance. Once the allotted time has passed, you move on to the next person. Many colleges also host speed networking events where students can quickly mingle with business people to exchange resumes and get career advice.
Workshops provide an opportunity to advance your career while expanding your network. Most workshops focus on a particular topic or skill. You might watch a presentation or engage in more interactive learning during a workshop. For instance, if you attended a workshop on teambuilding, you might take part in various teambuilding exercises. Similarly, a coding workshop could be an opportunity for you to work on your coding while receiving direct assistance from a different professional.
10. Roundtable discussions
When a small group of people gathers to talk about or debate a specific topic, it is called a roundtable discussion. It’s an excellent way to express your viewpoints and gain knowledge of those of others. The goal of roundtable discussions is to facilitate respectful conversations. Everyone is listening intently to what you are saying as you speak. You pay attention to the next person when it’s their turn. There is frequently time left over for closing remarks and additional questions.
How do you describe a networking event?
- Conferences. …
- After-hours events. …
- Industry and trade associations. …
- Trade shows. …
- Job club meetings. …
- Online networking. …
- Diversity groups. …
- Speed networking.
How do you plan a networking event?
Simply put, networking events are planned get-togethers where people can interact and form important connections. A networking event differs from a non-networking event (like a wedding!) in that attendees typically intend to make professional connections.