Networking Free vs Paid

networking free vs paid

Is paying to network worth it?

I am quickly growing in the networking world of San Antonio. I enjoy attending many networking events around town. I love to meet new people and get to know each other’s passions. The first thing I do is:

LISTEN!

I approach most people and introduce myself.  Then immediately ask them what they do.  I am not thinking “what am I gonna say”? No! I am listening to their story. That person’s background is important because not everyone is a potential client. I am trying to find the correct people at these events. If I am busy talking all night, I will miss those interested in being my client.

Free Events

It’s impossible for me to attend all the events available.  So I’m careful about selecting the right ones.  The word at many of these lunch networking events is that it takes continuity to receive referrals from these groups. That is somewhat true.

What I’ve learned is that when you have memorable moments, people will actually remember you. You can attend the same lunch networking weekly, but if you just sit there, eat lunch, stand up when it’s your turn, then leave, no one will remember you.

“Stick around at the end and mingle with the newbies.”

The folks know me at the weekly events. Should you attend these lunches? YES!  You are just buying yourself lunch.  But you will allow yourself an opportunity of something great.

Those are the lunching networking events. Then there are the happy hour to evening networking events.  They’re fun. They will wine and dine you plus give you the opportunity to meet people. But those are my least favorite way to network. I have organized that type of event myself. Those events turn quickly to social gatherings with clicks.  People stay within their clicks.  Trying to break the small clicks at those events is like pulling teeth.

Don’t get me wrong.  Networking skills require your ability to work a room. However, those clicks can bring you back to high school days.  Remember those?

Are those events worth it?  I think so. But the trick is to stay focused on meeting potential clients.

Seminars and Payed Events

You pay an entrance fee and maybe you don’t get fed as much, but you are sitting in a more formal environment. Those are my favorite events. I find that people that pay for their seat are serious about their business. They want to grow and refer to other people that are serious as well. These type of event are usually educational, and you get the opportunity to meet new people and mingle.

“educational, and you get the opportunity to meet new people and mingle”

That’s a win win situation. Whether the speeches motivate you as a business owner or inspire your soul, you’ll hear the best ideas from the experts. So are payed networking events worth it?  ABSOLUTELY!

Don’t sell yourself short.  So what’s the final verdict on networking free vs paid?  Cutting cost of attending a great networking event will only cost you money in the future.  It should be a part of your marketing and branding.

Need more ideas on marketing and branding for your business?  Send me an email!

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Author: Samarie Lamboy

I am better known by everybody as Sam, and this everybody knows that I have a great passion in helping businesses grow. I am a naturally born leader, thus, helping others in my own ways are pretty effective. Also, I am a business manager with experience in the human resource field. Since America is built on small businesses, my goal is to help businesses grow from day one until they become very successful.

I am a mother of two beautiful girls, and married to a great man. A native of Puerto Rico and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, I always grew up wanting my own business.

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