I think that for many people networking is that lost routine. Herminia Ibarra, a professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School, said, “Networking is a lot like nutrition and fitness: we know what to do, the hard part is making it a top priority.”
The bottom line is many people are not networking like they once did, especially not in person. Even in 2022, as more people began to gather in person, virtual events remain popular. A 2021 global survey by Kaltura found that at least 48% of organizations planned to host more virtual events in 2022.
While remote work and events provide us with great flexibility, we may have lost an important element of relationship building. Let’s talk about networking, how it’s changed and why you should get back out there and start meeting people again.
What is Networking?
Investopedia defines networking as “ … the exchange of information and ideas among people with a common profession or special interest, usually in an informal social setting.” While that is networking at the surface, it is actually so much more. Especially in our industry, networking is a critical source of business — and good business is something everyone is after right now.
How Has Networking Changed?
While you used to be able to meet people at conferences, trainings, or local business events, many of us have lost that element. With many events being virtual even now, or at least having a virtual option, it’s so easy to opt for the choice to stay home, be comfortable and multitask — but that’s the very issue. It’s hard to network virtually — you don’t just run into people online and you can’t strike up a conversation as casually. It’s also harder to focus on networking if you’re at home and have other distractions pulling your attention away from making connections.