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Everyone networks. You meet people at events, at gatherings, and many additional places.
You interact, have conversations, trade information. Networking is part of everyone's social life.
So, why do so many business people hesitate when asked to attend a networking event? They approach the session with dread, apprehension and trepidation. It should not be so.
Example: Tom runs a restaurant. He was invited to a business networking event and went. Tom doubted that it would help his business, but he did not want to disappoint the friend who insisted he attend. When he entered the gathering, an unknown man approached, introduced himself, and asked Tom what business he ran. Tom described his restaurant operation, focusing on the farm fresh menu he was introducing. The man expressed interest, telling Tom that he was concerned about healthy eating--especially among his employees. It turned out that the man recommended Tom's restaurant to his employees and, additionally, hired Tom to cater an upcoming event. Tom was convinced that business networking events could be helpful to his business future, and he regularly attends other sessions.
Example: Mary is a licensed therapist, concentrating on family problems, marital relationships, and the concerns and problems of young people. To increase awareness of her operation, she decided to hold networking events open to the public. She went on MeetUp.com and set up an upcoming event. She ran the session like an open house, where people could meet each other in a relaxed setting, get to know about the therapies she offered, and she invited other business people to participate as well. At one session, the concentration was on nutrition, at another it was chiropractic, and at still another, a massage therapist demonstrated and answered questions.
Turn any event at your place into a networking event. It is a social gathering. It is not necessary to call it a networking event. Any gathering will quite naturally turn into a networking event.
Promotional activities take many forms. Don't neglect the networking possibilities of any event you might hold.