Networking events remain a mystery to me in our wonderful marine world. We are on the main, an industry of links and networks, where you don’t need five links to be connected to any one; its more like two or even one. We are a small industry doing great things after all.
So it always surprises me when I attend organised marine networking events that the actual networking is so well actually rubbish.
To pull no punches here, if I was a newbie trying to find out who was who or what, you would not stand a chance at most of the marine events.
These networking events in our industry are so full of cliques, inward facing, same faces talking to the same faces, that is becoming impossible for any outsider to penetrate.
Well people networking events need to be just that and do what they say on the tin – Network - talk to people you don’t know, you might learn something or come across an opportunity.
If you want to talk to your cliques, do that in your private clubs, but don’t put ‘networking’ events on just to justify having a drink with your mates.
Organisers you’re at fault - don’t sit back and think its fab that 30, 40 or 50 people have turned up and all the drinks are going.
Look around, get involved - outside your own clique and match people up.
Break up the cliques, create a networking agenda which provides the buzz that when someone leaves they feel it has been worth attending.
After all a networking event should aim to – ‘create a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest’ - maybe we should all consider this at the next ‘event’.
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