While advancing digital technology has moved business communication online in recent years, there’s still an important place for face-to-face communication in the business world, especially when it comes to networking.
Despite growing up at the centre of the digital revolution, Millennials are putting more value into face-to-face communication than previous generations and driving the renewed popularity of business meetups.
According to research by Weber Shandwick and the Institute for Public Relations, 34 per cent of Millennials said that meeting with colleagues outside of the office is a positive driver of their work reputation. That’s compared to only 14 per cent of Generation X and 15 percent of Baby Boomers who believe the same.
Business benefits from personal interaction
Attending face-to-face business meetups comes with several benefits. Referrals that come through in-person networking tend to be of high quality, but building a business network is about more than generating leads.
Business meetups provide a forum for like-minded professionals to share knowledge and experience in a supportive, learning-centric environment. They can also be a rich source of advice and connect you with business mentors – and investors – who can help power your growth.
Building relationships with colleagues across your industry and other sectors can also lead to opportunities to work together in joint ventures, share leads and create cross-selling networks with companies that offer complementary products or services. Besides, actively participating in business meetups also boosts your industry profile and facilitates your journey to becoming a thought leader in your field.
Knowing the benefits of business meetups is only half the battle. Equally important is knowing which meetups to attend. Here are three ways to get started in Singapore.
This co-working space brings together a large community of entrepreneurs, creatives and tech experts. It hosts regular networking events for startup entrepreneurs, marketing clinics and an interview series with successful company founders. The Hub is also a great place for entrepreneurs seeking funding to connect with leading venture capitalists.
Founded in Silicon Valley in 2010, Startup Grind now hosts business meetups in 85 countries around the world. Their popular monthly events feature local company founders, innovators, educators and investors who reveal their secrets of success and share advice with the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Singapore Business Meetup (SBM) has hosted more than 170 networking events for over 4300 entrepreneurs since 2002. Their popular Go Pitch It series gives entrepreneurs a three-minute opportunity to pitch their business ideas to an audience of industry professionals, followed by a three-minute Q&A session. Participants are then free to network in a casual social setting.
Business networks don’t create themselves. Building strong relationships requires post-event follow up, which is when tools such as a good contact management system such as Sansan come into play. It allows you to simply scan the business cards you collect at a business meetup and store your contacts in an easily accessible cloud database.
Digital technology has not replaced the need for face-to-face networking. Rather, business meetups are gaining popularity as a new generation embraces the important role in-person communication plays in building stronger business networks.