Networking and presential business roundtables: an opportunity to sell more and position yourself as an expert in your field.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, face-to-face events were canceled, as crowds and interactions were limited. Concerts, team meetings, restaurant dinners, networking events and presential business roundtables had to migrate to virtual platforms.
Now, after the peak of the pandemic and moving forward on the path to virtualization, we see the benefits of this migration and many, when thinking about an event like face-to-face business roundtables, ask ourselves:
“Can this be a virtual meeting, a call, or an email?”
We learned to value transportation times and the practicality of digital platforms that make our lives easier. However, not all events go through that question with a “Yes”.
An example of the above are networking events such as business dinners, open business spaces for coworkings and business roundtables.
Benefits of Networking
Networking events, such as business conferences, are spaces designed to facilitate the creation of professional or business networks. They seek to connect problems with solutions.
The most sophisticated, manage to convene exponents and participants by market niche, which makes interaction easier and promotes topics of common interest.
But it should be remembered that it is not worth going to any event. We must be selective with what we give our time and attention to, choosing a space that generates value for the business, especially in 4 fundamental aspects:
Positioning: Companies and business leaders realize that your company exists and has a value proposition that effectively solves a problem or satisfies a need.
Acquisition of new potential clients: Now that you are positioning yourself as an effective solution, you will be able to connect with those users who have the pains that you can alleviate or solve. Build a good connection and set up a next date.
Expand your network of contacts: Meeting allies, suppliers or collaborators at these events can also save you time and costs.
Learn new things: We try to learn frequently about our business, but the truth is that knowing about the development of other businesses also helps us to identify new opportunities. In these events we learn from other professionals or, if there is one, from the academic agenda prepared for them.
Now, why go to a face-to-face event when I have so many virtual platforms at hand?
In conclusion, for trust.
Although it is possible to build trust through digital platforms through valuable content, email marketing strategies, landing pages, ads and other digital marketing tools, this process can be significantly shortened when “you put a face on the business ”.
In a face-to-face event such as the business conferences, you are not only putting on a face, but you are also generating real-time contact with the attendees. Or, tell me, when do you buy with more confidence? When you see an ad for a new product you’ve never seen before, or someone you know recommends a product you’ve never seen before?
Of course you can (and should) prepare for the event, but there are few sensations as challenging as when a potential client asks you those questions that you know you can solve or even make you look for new alternatives to satisfy their need.
The closeness that attendance generates is difficult to replace, so if you can attend one of these good events, take advantage of it.
A story to end…
Recently we participated in one of the most important events in southwestern Colombia,
This event included the participation of large companies from 5 important sectors for business in the region: Macro Snacks , White Protein, Beauty, Fashion System and Digital Economy.
The event, which lasted two days and offered an academic agenda that managed to update all attendees on trends, investment and growth, facilitated contact between buyers and bidders from the different participating sectors, generating spaces for interaction and business meetings. focused on niche and with clear interests.
From our experience, we can say that the benefits of networking or face-to-face business roundtables are true, since we manage to schedule appointments with potential clients during and after the event.
As an anecdote, in one of the lunches served in a buffet with tables for 10 people (a maximum of two people per company could attend, so this was an invitation for us to also make connections during the lunch space), we sat at a table and casually we started talking about dancing, a common theme for many in a city where salsa is the flag bearer. With the conversation we managed to get one of those present at the table to take the initiative to ask us for a contact.
He proposed a call, since he already recognized an opportunity to alleviate a latent pain through our service.
Here we break the paradigm that to generate new relationships you have to be extremely extroverted or expressive, because only by maintaining an open attitude and genuine curiosity, valuable connections can be generated for both parties.
Have you ever participated in any of these face-to-face networking events such as business roundtables?
What has been your experience?
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Thank you for reading.