Virtual operations deliver all kinds of benefits. No communting, lower costs, flexible working are just some. We have meetings on the phone, discussions on the blog and chat over IM; it’s almost like sitting in the next cube. To develop business we send email pitches, direct people to the website and encourage word of mouth online. But I can’t see how technology will replace or enhance good, old-fashioned networking. I believe that meeting people face to face in a social environment, chatting with them and getting to know them a little is one of the most powerful marketing tools available to consultants.
Last night I attended a meeting of the EuroClub on the Ilse of Man, a group of people interested in learning more about the European Union and other European political, economic and social issues. I was attracted there by the guest speaker, His Excellency, Ambassador Gunnar Snorri Gunnarrson, Permanent Secretary of State in the Icelandic Foreign Ministry. I’d visited Iceland a couple of years ago and loved it; so was interested to learn more about the country. He gave an interesting presentation about Iceland’s history of dealing with the EU, and I learned a lot.
But for me the highlight of the evening was that I had real substantive conversations with six people. I learned a lot about their businesses and their lives. Each happily gave me their personal “tips” on life on the Island. I left the event feeling more connected to the community. And, of course, that was the whole point, to build and strengthen personal networks.
So I am interested in what kind of networking other Strivers take part in? What kinds of groups and events do you seek out. Has anyone met someone at one of these events and turned that contact into a £1m contract?