In today’s world, you need to network to succeed.
In fact, it’s been shown that 85 percent of jobs are regularly filled through networking. Of course, you need to have the right set of skills, passion and determination. But it’s becoming increasingly obvious that in order to get your foot in the door, you need to know someone who’s already there.
With statistics like these, you’d be surprised to also find out that one in four people don’t actually network at all. But why is that? Is it because they find networking too hard? Is it because they don’t have the drive and motivation to seek out these events? Is it because they're trying to overcome their own shyness, and attending such events puts them on edge?
Whatever the reason, it’s important to understand the power of networking and its effect on your professional future.
It’s obvious that you can’t really get anywhere without networking. Whether it’s a friend from college or colleagues from past internships, it’s important to keep these contact in your arsenal. You never know when your next job will be calling you — and who knows, that one good word from that old boss might just be what decides whether or not you get the position.
LinkedIn, for example, has become a powerful networking tool. It allows people to keep a record of their professional network, connecting with past classmates, colleagues and other professionals in their field.
But maybe you’ve got the perfect job and the perfect life — should you still network? Absolutely. Networking is more than just landing a new job. It's about growing as a person. It's about expanding your circle. It's about learning new things and discovering business and career insights.
Don't risk your future by not networking now.
The Benefits Of Networking
Not everyone networks, though everyone should. But one of the biggest reasons people don’t network is because they think they’ve got it all figured out. They think they have a good job in a good company and that’s all they need. But networking far surpasses just being able to get a new job — networking has so many other things to offer.
Future Business Opportunity
Of course, the first benefit of networking is a future business opportunity. This isn’t just in terms of getting a new job or getting a promotion — but gaining access to individuals with ideas and opinions that can work to your advantage. By networking, you are constantly being bombarded with new ways of thought. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur or maybe you’re a business owner — networking can open the door to future possibilities — whether that means hiring quality employees, or becoming enlightened by new opportunities and ideas that can propel your business to greatness.
As both a prospective employee and a business owner, don't underestimate the power of networking.
Increased Knowledge And Skill Set
Networking puts you in contact with a variety of different people from a variety of different backgrounds. These people have a different educational background, different skill set and different knowledge base than you. We are all individuals, after all. But you can learn from it and use it to grow professionally.
Whether you’re in marketing or technology, you don’t know it all. You should always be learning and improving yourself. Networking can make that task even easier, putting you in direct and regular contact with great minds and great innovators.
Networking is also great for building your professional reputation. On LinkedIn alone, networking can help give your profile a boost and convince others of your professionalism and your work ethic. You can have colleagues and managers write reviews about you on your profile for others to see. And this is just one-way networking can benefit your reputation.
By meeting people face-to-face at networking events, you’re making your presence known. You’re putting a face to the name. By networking, you’re creating a wider network of people who know who you are, what you do and what you’re capable of. This gives people more reason to trust you and more reason to depend on you going forward.
The most obvious benefit, of course, is the prospect of a new employment opportunity. This could be a promotion or a new position altogether. Networking puts you in contact with people in different cities, different countries and different companies. And these people can make an impact on your future career.
Maybe you’re trying to get into a prestigious company, or you’re trying to start out in a new field. With competition at an all-time high, it can be difficult to get your foot in the door. Luckily, by networking, you’re creating a connection between you and that company that can help get you the job before someone else.
Mentorship Opportunities And Advice
Whether you’re a young professional or you’ve been in the working world for years, it’s never too late to take a second and ask for advice. There is a lot of mentorship potential in networking. Experts in the field have been doing their job a lot longer than you have, and they might have some advice or some insights that can help you better navigate these waters. Of course, you might be able to find these mentors in the place that you work, but networking can help you strengthen these relationships and give you a solid foundation for your professional career going forward.
These are just a few of the many reasons networking is a must-have skill in 2018. And there are a number of ways you can network. LinkedIn is one. Attending alumni events is another. But if you’re looking for something a little more comprehensive and a little more large-scale, attending a dedicated networking event is the option for you.
There are hundreds of networking events hosted each year across the country and across the world. But we’ve rounded up some of the best to give you the push you need to start networking and growing your network today.
The Top Networking Events In 2018
1. Next Gen Summit: June 8-10, New York City
The Next Gen Summit is a global community conference for young entrepreneurs.
At Next Gen, we believe that young people have the power to change the world - they just need the right tools. That's what we are here for. We aim to curate - both online and in person - a community of the world's most talented young people, and provide them with the resources and guidance necessary for both personal and professional success.
The conference has run since 2014, and its still going strong four years later. This team of professionals and innovators is trying to change the world, and they understand that they have the power to do so.
The conference was put together by young entrepreneurs, so they know how to market themselves and their services to the younger generation, encouraging them to step up and achieve personal and professional success.
This is a great networking event for young professionals as it brings together powerful minds from all over the world. The opportunities are endless. Each year the conference gets bigger, with more insights and opportunities making themselves known. It’s held in New York City, which is a huge hub for business, innovation and success. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity — you may never get to witness such a meeting of minds ever again.
2. CEO Space: May 21-26, Tampa, Florida
CEO Space is a networking and training organization that has been putting on events and conferences since 1988. It is regularly rated the number one business conference for professionals to attend, and the team prides itself on their ability to connect, learn and accelerate. In order to attend their events, you have to become a member. But members say it is well worth it.
The CEO Space Forums are events that help entrepreneurs and their teams flourish by cooperatively sharing knowledge and resources with each other. The CEO Space Forums purpose is to provide access to resources, education, and new connections all through cooperative methodologies you need to accelerate your business. Five times year, CEO Space hosts business owners, CEOs, and professionals from almost every industry imaginable – and from all corners of the globe at the Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay, Florida. Through practical keynotes, interactive workshops, total capital education, and tons of cooperative networking, you will learn new business skills sets, new ideas to consider, and new language needed to move your business forward.
This is a great group to join, with awesome networking and workshop events to help you learn more about the business world and how to navigate it. You will learn skills on how to grow your business and what it takes to be a professional in the corporate world.
And don't let the name fool you -- this community isn't solely for CEOs. You don't have to be a top-notch executive to become a member. You just have to have the drive and determination to demand what you want and take it.
3. Ride Conference: September 28-29, Atlanta, Georgia
RIDE is a conference geared towards multicultural millennials and young professionals. It’s dedicated to showing them the opportunities available in various industries and the ways in which young people can go out and grab them.
Introducing the 2nd Rolling Out Innovation Digital Entertainment Conference (RIDE). RIDE will highlight the need and opportunity in technology for multicultural millennials and professionals. IT is a chance to share their business acumen and career insights through case studies, micro-lectures, panel discussions and breakout sessions.
This two-day conference is jam-packed with workshops, lectures and informative sessions that will not only help you to grow your network, but also help you do something with the connections that you make. It will help foster a greater ability to connect and engage, offering participants the opportunity to hear business insights and learn from some of the greatest minds of our generation.
This conference is in its second year, and they already have keynote speakers in the double digits — people really want to get involved and empower the youth to push themselves and strive for success. If you’re a young professional looking to break out and find your footing, this is a great conference to attend. Not only will you gain valuable insights, but you’ll also make unforgettable connections.
4. World Domination Summit: June 26-July 2, Portland, Oregon
The World Domination Summit aims to create a community of forward-thinkers and dreamers who love adventure innovation and excellence. Through discussions and activities, this community creates inspiring content that propels them into the future.
Way back in 2011, we invited 500 friends to Portland, Oregon. Our common curiosity brought us together to explore one question: How do we live a remarkable life in a conventional world? Fast forward to 2018, and we’re still exploring that question every summer with an in-person gathering that has now included more than 10,000 people from all 50 states and more than 40 countries since we started. The stakes and stories have grown each year with activities like Bollywood dancing, Academies, Guiness World Records, and the creation of a foundation that offers grants to individuals to pursue their dreams and positively impact their community. We call them “Scholarships for Real Life”.With a full week of events and an unforgettable keynote speaker-filled weekend, you'll learn from unconventional thinkers, aquire powerful new skills, and go away with an all-new community of friends and supporters.
This event doesn't have as heavy as a business focus as some of the other events on this list, but it is an exciting and beneficial conference for opening up your mind, connecting with others and sharing common interests and goals for the future.
With a full week of opportunities, you're bound to create memories, experiences and connections that will last a lifetime. This truly is like a summer camp for adults, providing them with a place to get together and bond over a shared, enlightening experience.
This conference isn't there to bore you with business tips or fill your brain with so much content it hurts. It emphasizes interaction and engagement so you can get what you want out of it.
5. Dreamforce: September 25-28. San Francisco, California
Dreamforce offers individuals, organizations and brands the opportunity to grow their network and achieve their dreams. Learn, get inspired, give back and more with the help of this Salesforce-run conference.
Whether you’re a company of five or a Fortune 500, what you learn during your four days at Dreamforce will transform your business and lead to a boom in success. The knowledge you gain from 2,700+ breakout sessions, world-renowned leaders and Salesforce experts, hands-on training, hundreds of partners with thousands of innovative solutions, and connecting with your fellow Trailblazers will help you be your best, no matter your industry, role, or company size.
Dreamforce harnesses the power of trailblazers in the world of business and gives them the resources they need to achieve success in ways they never have before. This event connects professionals on a personal and a professional level, driving initiatives and actions that inspire and amaze.
The event has a few core principles -- they want people to learn, they want people to get inspired, and they want people to give back. But it's not all work and no play at this Salesforce conference.
They also want people to have fun! They host dances and lively dinners where people can let loose and connect with each other. They want people to achieve their dreams, and they want them to have fun while doing it.
This networking event is innovative and exciting. It gathers the greatest minds for a weekend of fun, learning and inspiration.
Dreamforce is all about learning from and connecting with your fellow Trailblazers at all the sessions, keynotes, networking events, parties, and more. You’ll make connections that go well beyond Dreamforce and last a lifetime.
6. Techcrunch Disrupt SF: September 5-7, San Francisco, California
TechCrunch is a big name in the world of tech, and they regularly host events and provide insights into the tech world that help entrepreneurs, designers and businesses alike see growth and work towards innovation. And their Disrupt series is no different.
If you’re serious about startups, we’re still keeping it as real as ever. At Disrupt, everyone is a startupper – no matter if you’re an founder, investor, hacker or tech leader. So much more than just on-stage interviews, Disrupt is where you’ll find the renowned Startup Battlefield competition, a virtual Hackathon, hundreds of startups in Startup Alley, Workshops and legendary networking at our After Parties… and we’re in San Francisco, right where startup dreams began.
These events tend to top the list as hottest tech events each and every year. These conferences include big-name keynote speakers, influential and informative panel discussions and fun and engaging competitions to get everyone involved.
Not only will you learn a lot, but you'll meet a lot of exciting and talented people who know what they're doing, and are doing it to the best of their abilities.
This conference if more tech-focused but that doesn't mean it doesn't have something to offer designers, marketers and business owners alike. It's all about innovation and pushing boundaries. And you'll be amazed by the minds that walk through these doors. With three whole days to network, you'll be sure to make some connections that will help further your career and put you on a path to success.
The Importance Of Networking Events In 2018
Everyone should be networking — plain and simple. If you aren’t consistently growing your networking, or if you don’t quite know how, it’s time to learn. The future of your professional life could be at stake.
Networking is a powerful tool for building relationships, establish connections and opening up doors to possible employment of business opportunities. And there’s more to networking than just getting your next job.
Networking can help uncover business growth opportunities that you would otherwise overlook. It can put you in contact with powerful minds that can inspire you, or that can help you grow and succeed.
Networking can teach you a thing or two about your industry. It can help give you knowledge or skills through others that already have them. You don’t know it all — no one does. Life is a process of learning and growing, and networking can help put you in touch with individuals that can push you to your fullest potential.
It’s also great for reputation building. Being a good worker and a good person is obviously the first step, but if you’re not networking then nobody will know how good of a worker you are or how creative you can be. Networking makes it easier for others to see your talent and your capabilities.
It’s obviously essentially for job growth as well. Most positions are filled through networking and it’s just simple logistics — if you’re not networking, you won’t get that new position in the company you’ve wanted to work at your whole life.
But an even greater benefit of networking is the insights and advice it can offer you. People are good, they are just and they are kind. And through networking, you can find the mentor and the professional that can help you grow as a person and as a professional in the workforce.
Understanding these benefits is vital, and they just might motivate you to action. Go to that next happy hour, reach out to that old boss and book a flight to a big city to attend a networking event.
These are powerful events that can put you in the same room as your idols and people you want to be. They also connect you with peers that are looking for the same advice and insights. You never know, you just might meet your next boss.
Want more business growth tips? Sign up for our newsletter!