A Round Up of Kansas City Networking Events
In the Kansas City area there are many opportunities for business professionals to network. Networking is one of the most valuable uses of my time in terms of personal fulfillment. Meeting new people and learning about what is going on in the Kansas City business community might just be my favorite hobby!
Networking is free, most of the time. It's full of like-minded individuals, and if you go to the right events, it's full of people that you can learn from or work with in one way or another.
What's better is that face-to-face networking events create lasting impressions in the minds of people you meet. I mean, ultimately, it's not about who you know, but rather who knows you, right?
This can almost always lead to future opportunities for both parties, in terms of help, advice, and business. It can also motivate you to go further, take the plunge in to starting your own business or just expand your industry knowledge.
After networking events, make sure to stay connected with those that you meet. Take a look at the business cards you received and email those people about what you spoke about while it is still fresh in your mind. I also like to go one step further and introduce members of my network to each other if beneficial.
When choosing how to network I would suggest the following:
- Include the right people- If you aren’t networking with people you genuinely want to be around, you are doing it wrong. I am part of a networking group, Top Gun Kansas City, the reason I look forward to the monthly meeting is because it feels like I am hanging out with friends for a few hours instead of feeling like “work”.
- Keep in touch and work your network-Don’t just initiate contact after the event, work your network. Connect outside the event. Meet for coffee and talk about what you can do for each other to grow business.
- Give to Get-Connect others within your network. If two contacts would likely benefit each other, connect them. They will likely reciprocate. A best practice I use is email the connections each other’s information, LinkedIn profile, and let them know I think they’d benefit from connecting.
- Keep track of your network- Whether electronically or on paper. Make sure you know who is who, where they work, and how to reach out to them.
- Network Online- A personal favorite of mine is LinkedIn. Utilizing this resource, I can connect to the networker, specific companies, and search colleagues within.
- Attend networking events- Networking in person is key. If you belong to a professional association, attend a meeting or a mixer. You'll find that many of the participants have the same goals you do and will be glad to exchange contact information. In the past year, I have had the opportunity to attend great networking events in Kansas City at WeWork, Plexpod Wesport, 1 Million Cups and other great venues. These events were hosted by great organizations including Startland News, Polsinelli Kansas City, Husch and Blackwell, Proof Positioning, the Kansas City Business Journal along with many other great organizations. Some events have been large and others have been small, but they all have been great and worth my time.
Thank you to all of the people I have met at these great events and thank you to all of the great hosts. As a business attorney in Kansas City with my own practice, networking is important to my growth efforts and I look forward to many more great events in the future.