Many business people dislike networking, despite it being a vital part of owning a company in this day and age. However, the way in which we network has changed vastly compared to twenty, or even ten years ago. Let’s take a look at some of the trends we are likely to see emerge for business networking in 2021.
One of the primary trends that we are likely to see is the continuation of digital networking spaces. The COVID-19 pandemic cancelled many in-person events for all industries and caused a massive migration into the digital landscape. The quick adoption of technologies such as Zoom helped to prove that there was not just a demand for this type of networking, but also a willingness to adapt to it as well.
Since then, not only have business events regularly been held in the digital space, but we have seen larger projects come to fruition too. There are many conferences and other massive events that have successfully moved online. Being able to successfully organise an event of this scale for a digital platform helps to show that we are prepared to take on whatever challenges we can and make them still a success and a prime opportunity for networking.
A Human Element
In business, there is always going to be a professional standard that must be maintained. What we are seeing, however, is a drop in the cold corporate attitude that has ruled the upper echelons of the business world for the past few decades. More and more business owners are turning to a more humane approach to allow them to best appeal to both their own workforces and their consumers.
In a world where we can look up leaders like Jeff Weiner, Liz Ryan, and Tej Kohli on LinkedIn, it is important that we are able to present ourselves in the best possible light. While a sense of dignity and professionalism must always be present in the entrepreneurial world, it is also essential that a sense of humanity is able to shine through.
Mastering the Follow-up
Having made the initial connection, it is vital that entrepreneurs then follow it up for the best chance of building a meaningful partnership. This is especially crucial if they have made a connection through networking with someone who could be of paramount importance to their business.
It is not enough to assume that they will be remembered. A polite and friendly follow-up, perhaps through a Linked-In message, could be just what is needed for a conversation to open and a partnership to thoroughly flourish.
It is important to remember that we are all finding our feet in this new digital landscape. No matter what, networking in business is always going to be a vital practice that entrepreneurs need to master. The above tips could be crucial in securing a connection that could be of tremendous value to their company, and could help to push their business to the next level.