Essential Networking: International Networking Part 1

September 7, 2013 Updated: October 16, 2013
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For this column edition, I am writing from New York. I will be spending one month in NYC on an international networking research trip, researching the cross cultural differences between US and UK businesses networking practice. I expect my findings to be a great inspiration for this column and for my own business and personal development.

This trip has been planned for six months and I have a number of networking events to attend in the Big Apple. The objective is to support a new style of networking that I have created called Exclusive Target Networking™ (ETN), which will be officially launched in November 2013. I have a mission to help networkers meet and connect effectively with their target audience.

I know it will be a fulfilling experience to attend networking events here and observe how they are structured compared to those in the UK. One of the events that I am booked to attend has a simple but unique twist on lunch-time networking.  Each networker buys their own lunch and sits around a table for the event.

Throughout the month, I have arranged meetings with entrepreneurs and business owners who actively engage in networking.  These connections are a golden asset in my quest to learn the networking culture in NYC and I will be able to inject these experiences into my research. One of the biggest questions for me is; How serious and dedicated are NYC networkers compared to those in the UK?

I also have a networking research road map to implement. I am curious to know whether NYC networkers always create a clear networking plan with goals. Networking is a great marketing tool to facilitate the achievement of business and personal goals and the more focus you have the better the results you will receive. It is vital to success to have a networking plan and to have a focussed direction in what you want to achieve. 

It will be interesting to find out if these views are shared with NYC networkers and I will question New Yorkers’ motives for networking to understand what they are hoping to achieve. Before attending a NYC event is the norm to create a clear goal? Or it is more common to have a laid back approach? 

Networking is a long term process and the more you put in, the more you get out. I wonder what the motivation triggers are for NYC networkers and and exactly what it is that drives them. This is an interesting area that I will give close attention to. I’ll be considering to what extent New Yorkers’ view networking as a strategic activity to drive building business relations, business development and that all-important brand awareness.

Since choosing the right networking event is so key, whilst here, I will endeavour to find out what criteria are used here for making these important choices. Will these choices be based on the time of day, the event location, the delegate fee, the industry covered, or whether or not there is a speaker? 

What is the time protocol for measuring the success of a networking event? Is follow up immediately after every networking event or does NYC prefer to take the relaxed approach? Whenever we network we are investing our time therefore it is best practice to regularly measure whether we are investing our time wisely. Otherwise we are just networking for the sake of networking without it benefiting our development.

Japan has the highest business card etiquette in the world. Exchanging business cards there is a formal endeavour. In Japan we should present a business card by holding it with both hands and we should never write upon or fidget or play with them. I wonder what the NYC business card etiquette is compared to Japan and London. Let’s take the lead from Japan and make it the first rule of thumb to treat every business card respectfully. 

We make great efforts attending networking events and creating new relationships. However, the real networking results do not start to emerge until we begin to follow up our new contacts. 

Following-up after a networking event is really what makes the magic happen and how the gatekeepers are found. This is my specialist area and I am eager to hear and let you know about NYC networkers’ views on this and other intruiging networking subjects.

Bella Rareworld is Corporate Networking Strategist, BellaNetworking Ltd.  For more information about Bella Rareworld’s International research trip email bella@bellanetworking.com or call +44 (0) 845 269 8036
 
BellaNetworking Ltd offers strategic networking training and consultancy for international clients by sourcing bespoke lists of networking events to attend whilst on business in the UK. Bella Rareworld has 60+ testimonials on Linkedin at http://www.linkedin.com/in/rareworld – Get more networking tips on Twitter & Facebookhttp://www.twitter.com/BellaNetworking –
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