When your meeting's value proposition is that you provide opportunities for attendees to learn and network with their peers, Networking Is Dead is not a book title you like to see in circulation. However, the point that authors Melissa G. Wilson and Larry Mohl make in their business fable is that in our LinkedIn world, professionals need to focus on the quality rather than the quantity of connections that they make.
With more social-networking, teleconferencing, and webinar opportunities at their disposal, Wilson and Mohl write, professionals are able to meet more people in more ways than ever before. But “that doesn't mean you're creating new possibilities through valuable connections.”
Although the authors don't specifically explore digital versus in-person networking, some of the tips they offer at the end of each chapter demonstrate how face-to-face events have an edge when it comes to fostering the kind of deeper connections they prescribe:
Because the most beneficial opportunities come from people best suited for you, it pays to take time to find the right people, who will have similar and complementary values, to network with one-on-one.
From your quality connections come more opportunities. The idea is to go deep first in order to go wide later, instead of going an inch deep with everyone in the world.
Figure out the percentage of Givers, Takers, and Exchanges in your network. Focus on finding Givers who are interested in building “exchanging” opportunities for one another.
At live events, take advantage of the chance to learn more about others. Research the attendees or speakers who will be at the events you will be attending ahead of time. You may want to ask a mutual connection there to introduce you for the sake of getting to know that speaker or presenter.