Even if you run a business which is entirely managed online, there are still plenty of advantages in networking with people face-to-face. There is something in the experience which is simply not the same as communicating via email or even on Skype. There are plenty of reasons why you should attend networking events as a representative of your business, and we are going to be talking you through just a few of the best ones.
Of course, you need to be selective with which events that you choose to attend. You need to do some research to ensure that they are actually going to be beneficial to your business and potential clients and partners are likely to be in attendance. You don’t want to end up wasting your time. Even if this is not something that you do on a regular basis, going every now and again can end up being hugely beneficial.
Listen and Learn
If you have never attended a networking event before, it is important that you spend a bit of time listening and learning from people who are more experienced. So, the first advantage of attending a networking event is that you have the chance to see what other entrepreneurs are doing and how they are promoting their business. You will find yourself walking away with some tips on what to do and what not to do. The best entrepreneurs are the ones who learn from others. At future networking events, you will hopefully find yourself much more confident and ready to present your company in the best possible light.
Master Your Message
The ability to sum up what your business does in 30 seconds while also making it sound impressive is one which takes time to learn and perfect. When you attend a networking event, you have the opportunity to speak to a lot of people over a short period of time. Over time, it should start to become more refined and polished, but this only comes after plenty of practice. Once you have your message down to a tee, you should start to find that your business becomes much more attractive to potential clients and partners.
Increased Visibility and Brand Awareness
Even though your business exists online, it can’t hurt to increase your visibility in person. Despite the fact that business relationships have changed because of the internet, doing business with people that you like is a concept which is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.
The second part of increased visibility is enhanced brand awareness. In the modern world, your brand is what differentiates you from your competitors. And while you can do this online and through various digital marketing techniques, there is something stronger about giving people branded merchandise such as business cards, stationery, brochures etc. You could also check out more info on some customized embroidery patches. Don’t underestimate the importance of branding to the modern business.
Forming New Associations
The most obvious reason why people would want to attend business networking events is to form new relationships and connections. But you aren’t only restricted to getting new clients on board. In fact, you could form a whole host of partnerships to make your business run smoother with professionals like legal representatives, accountants, website developers, promoters and many others. And there is also an advantage in forming business relationships with people who are located nearby to your company as you save on any shipping, transportation and delivery costs. As well as pitching to other attendees about how your company can help them, you should also be listening out to other pitches which could end up having a positive impact on your business.
Positioning Yourself as an Expert
Nowadays, everyone is able to set up an online business, but this does not make them an expert in the field. By attending networking events and showing off your unique knowledge and skillset, you are demonstrating that you have in-depth knowledge of your particular area. One of the major problems with only running a business online is that it is sometimes difficult to gain the trust of potential partners and clients. Simply being able to put a face to a name can end up making a big positive impact.
Increasing the Likelihood of a Positive Response
When you send out an email or make a cold call, people are likely to ignore it as they don’t know where it is coming from and who you are. But if you have already met them at a networking event, this increases your chances of getting a positive response significantly. You can also connect with them through social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. This will give them a little nudge to head over to your website and check out what you are all about once again.
Giving You a Route to Opening a Real Store
Some online business owners have ambitions to open up a store in real life, and if this is the case for you, attending these networking events provides you with a route to do this. Perhaps you have never had to do much face-to-face networking in the past, and the practice will come in handy so that you can become more used to it. You will undoubtedly make some new connections who will be able to help you out in making such a significant transition.
These reasons and many more give you some more detail on why you should attend networking events if you run an online business. Essentially, these type of events are designed to open doors, and if you can come away with some opportunities which benefit your company, this can only be a positive thing. If this is something that you have never done in the past, you may not feel comfortable and confident straight away, but over time, you should start to get into the swing of things, and your success rate should start to improve dramatically.