Networking – Does size really matter?

Over the last few years I have spent a lot of time networking in and around Berkshire. I have sampled lots of different groups from ladies only to mixed, informal just turn up style to structured and more formal.  One thing I have noticed is how some people are very focused on the numbers. The assumption is that the more people attending a meeting the more successful it will be. But is this really the case?

In my experience no it isn’t.  I have been to very busy informal networking and ended up coming away feeling less than inspired.  My conversations have been constantly interrupted, my coffee has been spilled as everyone is pushing past and I often feel like I haven’t had a chance to really get to know anyone or understand what they are actually offering. The only real result is to arrive home with a big pile of business cards!

On other occasions I have turned up at a networking event to only see a handful of people attending. However at the end I have left feeling uplifted and motivated. There has been some great conversations, I have made interesting new connections. Often a small group allows better interaction to take place and often business issues might be discussed and brainstormed as it is easy to get everyone involved.

My advice is to try different styles of networking and always keep an open mind. Take your business cards, your marketing materials and most importantly an approachable smile. Have a clear 40 second – 1 minute business introduction up your sleeve and go with the flow.  You might be very surprised at the results.