How to decide what networking events to attend


Networking is a vital skill needed for all professionals wanting to increase their profile. You will be invited to a myriad of different events and activities – breakfasts, lunches, dinners, keynote speaking events, drinks, cocktails, seminars and learning & development opportunities.  But how do you choose which ones to attend?Networking events 2

Here is our simple guide of things to think about before you accept that invitation, or in some cases spend money, or your employer’s money:

  • If it is a legal seminar, is it in your area of expertise or related to it?  Or is it an area where you can cross sell your expertise?
  • Will a colleague who needs support be speaking?
  • Will a client, or a potential client, be speaking or attending?
  • Is the intended audience just lawyers, or other professionals in the area?
  • Who will be there – ask the organiser for information on the type of person they are hoping to attract (they won’t give you names but may give you information you can work with)
  • Is the speaker of interest?
  • Will you learn something for yourself, which you can use or pass on to the firm on your return?
  • Will the event add value to your practice or personal development?  Can you identify the ways it will do that?
  • Will you be able to meet new people and more importantly have an opportunity to speak with them and ‘sell’ yourself.
  • Make sure the event matches up with your personal brand – what is it that you want to be known for as a professional?

And finally – here is a great tip from a senior female in the legal profession, for whom networking is both purposeful and fun:

“I keep a record not only of what I attend and why, but what I don’t attend and why and review this on a quarterly and annual basis.  This helps me see if I am giving my time and attention to the same things, and people, and if I am rejecting the same sorts of invitations.  It means I can assess if what I am attending is adding value, and more importantly, what I am not attending and what I might be missing out on.”

I think that is great advice, don’t you?