Do you dread going to networking events?! Then these events are for you!

 Do you dread going to networking events?! Then these events are for you!

Are you thinking what on earth is virtual networking event and what is wrong with our traditional networking? Well, the last traditional networking event I spent 8 hours driving, 2 hours preparation, 3 days arranging a baby/dog sitter, £150 in cost and I achieved to meet one “good” network. I drove back home around 11pm tired, stressed and deflated. I felt that the traditional networking is for people who have a helicopter so they can fly from networking in London to Manchester to Scotland and they have a babysitter on their fingertips.

Traditional Networking is Gross Inefficient

Last time I went to networking event, I drove 8 hours. Networking event started at 7pm and because I was late on last few occasions, I decided to leave home around 1pm so that leaves me plenty of time in case there is some delay or traffic. My dog sitter was late for half hour and I was okay since I have solid 5 hours. According to satnav it takes 2.5 hours to London which leaves me a good buffer of 2.5 hours. I start my journey feeling good about myself, confident and organised. 

I put my dress which I ironed one day prior, put my high heel shoes, but for driving I put flat shoes and I feel good about my organisation to this networking event. I look forward to being on time, meeting with people and listening to the speakers. As I approach Reading I hit a traffic and my time buffer started eroding. I comforted myself since I have 2.5 hours and I feel confident that I will be on time for the event. 

Towards London I hit another traffic, so my time advantage is now completely used, but I should still be on time and that is all that matters. The Satnav shows that I am 10 minutes far from my venue and my watch shows I have 45 minutes till the event. I do a quick calculation, 10 minutes till the venue, 10 minutes to park,
10 minutes to walk to the venue which leaves me good 15 minutes. I can start
mingling with people. I feel good that I left early which is now allowing me to
be on time. 

 

Stresss

 

Driving in unknown territory and thinking so many things at once, I miss a junction and Satnav recalculates and informs me that I will reach my destination 20 past 7pm. I cannot believe my eyes, surely one junction cannot cost me half an hour. I am now going to be late and all my positive attitude is now been crushed away by reality. I finally pass by the venue around 6:55 and I am now desperately trying to find my parking space. As Satnav brought me to a place where I cannot find parking, I call the owner of the parking space which I arranged one day before coming. I thought to myself I have pre-arranged everything and look at me still being late, this is so unreal. Owner of parking doesn’t pick up the phone, so I have to drive around to find the parking. I find a place which looks similar but I am not 100% percent. It is now 7:20pm and if I don’t leave now it is going to be so late. I park the car stressed about consequences and then with my high heels ran to the venue, as I ran I feel the pain of my back exacerbate with high heels. I am finally at the venue…

The fluster 

I get there quarter to 8, stressed, aching legs, thirsty and I hear the first speaker is finishing his speech. I go in and find a place to sit down, I am completely flastered and stressed. Inside I feel frustrated that I am late again and I am trying to understand why my plan is so flawed every time, what time I should be leaving home to be on time.


As I am deep in my thoughts I see second presenter turning slide 5, something about commercial conversions and I tell myself off to stop internal chat and actually concentrate on the presentation. You have come all the way not to sit and talk to yourself but hear the speakers and network. So, I force stop my thoughts and pressure myself to concentrate and take in information. My feelings of frustration and fluster is buried somewhere in my system and I am able to hear and understand the speaker…  

 

 

Awkward and inefficient …

The second speaker finishes, it was very interesting speech. I have so many questions I want to clarify, so I go to the front of the stage and wait in a queue and I stand there 20 minutes before I give up as I need to network with people in the audience. I drove and spend so much time to this event that I need to make most of it. I scan around and see most people already in groups or in couples speaking and I try to find a group or an individual I am interested to speak. While I scan the floor, a man approaches and introduces himself. I feel relieved that I don’t need to initiate the chat and we introduce each other and start talking. 10 minutes into a conversation we understand we operate and work on things that of little or no interest, we try to be polite to continue the conversation however we want to move on and speak to other people. You think who will be first to do so and wait kindly for the other person to initiate the stop of the current chat. Or if the partner hasn’t initiated you finally get situation in your hands and say “I got your card we should get connected on Linkedin” and move off. Now, the second scan continues and you try to speak to another person, another 15-20 minutes passed and he is not something you are interested in too. As you scan for third time the networking is coming to an end and people are going home.

 

Deflation …

I feel absolutely frustrated for driving all the way here and finding only one contact and most of the time of networking spent on how do I move on and how do I speak to the right person and how can I connect to the people I am interested in. This situation might feel even worse for those people who dread networking, who have no plan for who to meet and they force to go there expecting others to approach them and being at their mercy. Even worse when you are making a conversation with someone you are not interested but you feel that if you stop talking to them you will be seen alone which seems worse in a sort of weird social economic dimension.

 

Driving force – the fear

Networking events are full of subconscious and conscious fears and it is simply utterly inefficient in many ways. Fear of acceptance, rejection, social status, ability to connect, social skills, extent of knowledge, achievement all come to play when you are networking. Before you approach someone, you fear whether you look too desperate to speak to a particular person, how to balance the authority, self-respect and still initiate a conversation with a particular person. Once you start the conversation, other fears kick in, are they more experienced than me, have they achieved more than I have, how do I save my face, would they find me of little value, how do I make my persona look and sound valuable and of interest to the person. Traditional networking with all its stress, inefficiencies has continued too long and it is time to stop. If there was a economy on networking the cost benefit analysis would have made it clear that they should not continue. However, since nobody calculates individual inefficiency of each participant we never looked how grossly inefficient for the society these events are.

Subconscious fears such as Therefore, I wanted to bring efficient, fun, easy, to the point networking events and that is what virtual networking events do. They remove inefficiencies and bring ease with its structure. Virtual networking takes place in virtual online networking events. In a physical networking event you have a keynote speaker and then networking session, so does the virtual networking event. It has a keynote speaker and networking session, but it is so much better. 

 

Virtual property networking – the future

Virtual networking event eliminates all the noise, stress, frustration of the traditional networking. So what is virtual networking event. Virtual networking event is an online event where people while enjoying comforts of their home can join the networking event.

As the traditional networking there is speaker sessions where speakers share their knowledge with the audience and here you can actually ask your questions and get response.

When it comes to a networking part, you will be matched to a person and given a timed 5 minute slot, you will have sufficient time to say what you do and what you look for and the other person can do the same, if you want to speak more to the person there is a Connect button which is an exchange of business cards. You will find the business card you wished to connect on your profile after the event.

What is great is that there is no awkward how to end this conversation, how I proceed to the next person and all other fears and social anxieties associated with initiating and ending the networking conversation. The networking 1-1 ends at the end of 5 minute and if you want to speak to the next person press Ready and meet your new person.

 

I simply love it! I love I can sit at home, drink my tea, no high heels, no make up, no driving, no stress and I absolutely love this efficient sleak way of networking.

If you have not tried yet, join our events and try it for yourself.

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