This is an interesting year. I am seeing a great demand in people looking to network, to connect and engage with others - both digitally and personally. There is a great upsurge in the interest in networking. Apart from the fact that this is in keeping with the values of the r'evolution that is now here, its also about seeking new opportunties for their career and businesses.
Yet, there is a corresponding fall in membership in business organisations, chambers of commerce and societies. Why?
People think that networking is about attending events in the vague hope that something might come from a chance meeting. It's not about that at all. It's about ACCESS. Meeting the right people, in the right environment, with the right introduction so that LATER they can either make a decision in your favour or you can provide a valued service to them or they can connect you with someone who can assist you.
Networking is fundamentally a mercenary activity. It is about being in an environment where you can actively target and access the right kind of people for your business. Any organisation or event that claims a benefit from networking once you are a member should actually clearly define who you have access to at the events. Without it...it's not worth the cost of membership.
It's not about the opportunity to network...it's about the opportunity to get access. This is the point that needs be clearly spelt out by organisations that trade on the strength of their membership and the opportunities to network.