Worthy Networking Events

A reporter recently asked for my opinion on what kind of networking events are worth attending. Here’s a summary of my response:

First, start with the ‘what’ – what are your networking objectives? What do you want to accomplish at the event? The ‘what’ drives the ‘who’ – who do you need to meet/talk with to accomplish your objectives? Who are your targets of opportunity? If you know them – fine. Follow up by phone, email or text.

If you only know them in functional terms – IT managers, small business owners, etc., then the ‘who’ drives the ‘where’. Go where they are – the meetings or events where large numbers of your targets attend and networking is allowed and encouraged. If you’re a member – great. If not, most organizations welcome guests.

So, the ‘what’ drives the ‘who’ and the ‘who’ drives the ‘where’.