Author: Ellie Davis, Collaboration Manager
In 2022, when the world seemed to open up more, we returned to the office and we also returned to in-person networking events — which I couldn’t be more thrilled about. Throughout the year, TechNexus took part in many safe, comfortable events and I experienced all the emotions…
- Excitement of catching up with old colleagues and friends
- Enthusiasm of meeting portfolio founders for the first time
- Optimism, Eagerness, and FOMO that resulted in what I call “Tech Week fatigue”
And through the journey of all those emotions, one big thing is evident.
Many online relationships were formed and maintained over the last two+ years, but they strengthened immensely (and immediately) with just one, real, face-to-face interaction.
I witnessed this first hand at the TechNexus Rethink Growth™️ Networking Reception in San Francisco held in September.
Physical interactions, real-life handshakes (if comfortable), easy-to-read body language, these subtle things we take for granted humanized everyone in the room. Investor introductions were more natural, conversations with founders extended beyond financial reporting and into whole, personal life topics, like families, hometowns and hobbies. Corporate players now privy to unique conversations and entrepreneurial insights, witnessing trends and innovation happening in their industries without hopping on yet another zoom call or attending a virtual pitch competition.
The connections and conversations during the Rethink Growth™️ event are proof.
There is nothing more tangible and impactful than in-person networking events.
When the right people are in the room with a common goal, event’s can be where some of the important decision making happens.
Here’s my take on how attending events are crucial to everyone in the entrepreneurial community, and some lessons learned along the way.
Why networking events are important 🤝
Face to face interaction builds mutual trust.
You can tell when someone is listening and interested into what you have to say by their body queues – instead of the speed of their internet. With increased trust, founders are more likely to come to investors for help, and investors can more easily make introductions based on those needs.
‘Meet Cute’s’ can happen in business, too.
Some of the best business deals of our time have been made out of circumstantial coincidences, which happen at events. When not tied to a meeting agenda, conversations are more likely to flow naturally to new opportunities and business initiatives.
Increases responsiveness and decision making timelines.
Humanizing a person on the receiving end of an email will increase likelihood and speed of response, and eases the daunting tasks of… cold-outreach🥶. The increased accountability of meeting someone in person will lead to deals and introductions to be done quicker.
How to make the magic happen ✨
Ensure the right people are in the room.
Everyone invited should be there for new networking opportunities provided- not just for the (free) food and drinks. It is important to curate your invite list with many relevant contacts for each anticipated guest. Networking events cannot be successful without the right people in the room.
Establish event goal and KPIs.
Each networking event that you host needs a set purpose with measurable goals that measure its success. While this is more art than science (and by no means do I have it perfected), this is crucial when assessing the ROI of your actual costs and time spent planning.
Remember that in some cases, the less rigid programming the better.
At our Rethink Growth™️ event, conversations and laughter echoed the room throughout the evening. This proved to me that while panels and presentations are important, networking events should give the attendees the freedom to make natural, inspired connections according to their own schedule.
As we head into 2023, we’re excited to continue to grow our Rethink Growth™️ events with the right people, in the right places, at the right time. If you’re interested in learning more or further discussion, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.