As most of you know, John was recently in Toronto. While there I joined him for some pho along with some of my fellow Toronto bloggers. No, this post won’t be about how great pho is, or a recap of the meetup, I’m sure you’ve all seen that before. Instead, what I want to talk about today are the benefits of networking in person (face to face) versus networking online (by using a computer). I feel that networking in person is very beneficial and therefore present to you three reasons why you should seriously consider networking in person.
The Friendship Aspect
First and foremost is the friendship aspect. It is super cool to meet other people in the same field as you. You’d be surprised how quickly friendships spring up among those that you network with.
For example, after your pho meetup (as mentioned before), the Toronto bloggers decided to get together this week again for another meal (Here is the link for the Facebook event. If you’re in Toronto, you should definitely attend!). Our first meetup forged a bond of friendship among many of us. What this does for you is gives you a person to talk to about your industry related questions and even a cool new friend to hang out with and spend some time with.
The point is you never know what kind of amazing people you can meet with networking in person. If you’re shy, try and go out on a limb, it’s definitely worth it.
The Business Aspect
Next there is the business aspect. Online, partnerships or joint ventures can be very important. What networking in person does is allows you to meet people for who they really are (to an extent, but online it’s easy for a first impression to be deceiving while in real life it’s harder.). This can help you find a better joint venture partner.
Also location comes into effect here. The nice thing about networking face to face, especially in your own community is that the potential partner lives closer to you. I know that I for one prefer a business lunch over a teleconference (but hey, that’s just me).
A lot of great partnerships have/can be made from meeting someone face to face. As with the friendship aspect there are a lot of amazing people out there and maybe by networking in person, you’ll find one that you’d make a great partner with.
The Location Factor
Finally there is the location factor. What I mean by this is how close the person you network is to yourself. While networking at conferences may be a bit different (because people are from all over), networking in your community is a great thing to do for your website.
Both business and friendship wise, knowing some people in person that are close to you is a huge plus. Friendship wise you can see them more often (be it for advice or just to hangout). Business wise a partner that is closer to you is usually better (as long as they are a good partner in the first place) purely for communication reasons. Either way by networking in person with people you are forging ties with people close to you (and can result in some amazing memories being created).
I hope I’ve convinced you why networking face to face (in person), is a definite plus for both friendship and your online career. John does a great job of this with his Dot Com Pho meetups. If you live in a town with a decent population try and see if there are any other bloggers there. Perhaps go and try to meet them, who knows your new friend or business partner could be just one meetup away.
Related reading: Tips To Network In Person More Effectively