There’s no shortage of networking events both locally and nationally for all types of businesses. I’m sure you could find several near you just by doing a quick search. However, are these events really worth the time and effort? Well, the answer is it depends. Also, just because one event works for one person, doesn’t necessarily mean it is helpful for another. While networking events can be a positive experience and offer much value to some attendees, there are also a lot of dud events that some people feel as if they wasted their time attending. To determine whether any contractor networking event, be it HVAC networking events, plumbing, electrical, or roofing, will be beneficial to you, follow the guide below.
What are You Hoping to Get Out of the Event?
You don’t go to a networking event just for the heck of it. Instead, there must be something that draws you in. Are you hoping to learn more about marketing strategies, or are you looking for more start-up capital? Perhaps you are looking for advice on how to streamline your processes, or maybe you would like to meet others in the area you can exchange referrals with. Whatever your goals may be, write down what you hope to gain from the event so you don’t lose focus while you are there. If there’s something you are already an expert in, see if there’s an advanced class option, or you can share your experience to the newer business owners if no other advanced class is available.
What is the Primary Goal of the Event?
You want to avoid events that you won’t gain any value from, right? Why waste the time and money if you don’t learn anything or make any meaningful connections? To avoid generic networking events that will just waste your time, look into the event beforehand and see what they are offering. Will they have classes where you can learn about different business techniques like hiring and firing processes? Will they have structured time for individuals to connect with future strategic partners? Even if you are recommended an event by a friend in the HVAC/Plumbing/Electrical/Roofing business, the event could offer him/her more value than it does you. Only you know what you need to learn or what will help your business. Usually, the more specific and intimate the event is, the more you will gain from it.
Who is Putting on the Event?
Besides looking at the details of the event itself, you will also want to research the company sponsoring the event. Do they have a lot of experience with your industry? Can they reasonably offer updated advice from experts in the field? Generic business advice can be helpful, but it’s best to hear from successful people in your own industry. You may be able to copy their technique more closely if it’s tailored for your industry. Remember to also look at the event coordinator’s reputation to see if others have gained value from them in the past. When it comes down to it, the organizer can make or break an event, and you don’t want to waste your time attending an irrelevant gathering.
Who is Attending the Event?
The number and quality of attendees can also affect the success of a networking event. Too large of crowds can sometimes leave you feeling lost, abandoned, and like just a number. It can also be difficult to connect with someone you were hoping to if you can’t find them in the crowd. However, you also don’t want to go to an event with a few people of little value. Check the guest list and speaker list. See if there’s anyone who you could glean from or who would make a great business contact. Sometimes in smaller events it’s easier to have more personal interactions with the speakers and/or attendees. You will also have more time to ask questions and learn from other experts in your field.
If you are thinking a networking event may provide your business with some value or be a learning opportunity for you, there are lots to choose from. The best events, however, will offer education on the topics you need more information on, be specific to your industry, and include people of value to you and your business. Remember to attend these events with a goal in mind, and don’t be afraid to exchange contact information with those who may provide value to you in the future. Give Contractor networking a chance to see how it can help you.