As a boutique consultancy. People are our business.
So the sudden cessation of face-to-face physical meetings and networking events have had an impact on our new client pipeline.
That being said, we live in a new age of fast broadband, and widely accessible technology. The networking community has inevitably looked to adapt to the prospect of indefinite ‘social distancing measures’ with ‘Zoom’ and ‘Google Meet’ conference calls.
Our thoughts so far
While it is true that nothing beats having a coffee or a beer to build meaningful business connections, there are a number of benefits to the emergence of online networking.
• Meeting people from across the world.
Something that cannot feasibly happen in the physical world-for obvious reasons.
• Seeing people in their most human form – At home.
There is a real warmth about the online conference calls we have experienced. So what if a random screaming child walks in… we are seeing people for who they truly are. Pretentiousness stripped back.
• The overall time-saving – No travel costs.
Many networking events online are free or at minimal cost to join. Definitely time to take advantage and promote your business while minimising lost desk-time.
• Hearing from everyone in the ‘room’.
Something that very often doesn’t happen in physical networking events. Whether that is because of somebody’s closed body language, or because you innocently asked an open question to a real talker… we have all been there! With online networking, everyone in the room will typically pitch their services in around a minute. You can then add everyone to your network thereafter and follow up with those of whom you might have some synergy!
And the frustrations…
• People dial in from anywhere….
They could be in a field or driving while everyone stares at the image of a rather funny camera angle of their chin. Eyes on the road Janet!
It’s inevitable that when people do not appear to be at their desks it will undermine the meeting somewhat.
• The horrible echo and the constant playing around with microphones.
Time-wasting can be very tedious when on these calls. You may find yourself drifting back to your emails while the meeting warms up.
• Pets distracting the call.
There is very little that can stop a cat that has made up its mind!
Jokes aside. If you haven’t tried online networking there are many London based groups to choose from. To name a few; Business Buzz, City Business Networking, 4N, and BNI are all good starting places.
Find a community that works for your business and let’s embrace the new normal.