I’m always pleased when my networking dovetails with my interest in sport. So I jumped at the opportunity to attend a match as a guest. Follow Up doesn’t always follow great invitations so how do you avoid missing opportunities and protect a brand.
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Finding Networking Events in London
When invited to a 20/20 cricket game by someone I had know for years, I didn’t need any sales spiel yet they told me that other invitees brought the added benefit of developing Strategic Partnerships. When the day arrived I found myself in hospitable surroundings and great company. These events are a bridge between business and social and we were all keen to enjoy the game.
My comrade and their friend arrived and it wasn’t long before I noticed that this ever so nice new chap was distracted. It transpired that the only reason he was on his mobile was because someone who had accepted his invitation had suddenly gone under the radar. He had not only financed the event yet also taken time out that could have been invested in fee generating work. They were not answering. Had he invited the wrong person?
Plugging away or drowning?
He was determined to use all methods of contact (calling, texts, email, etc.) and my concern was that he was missing opportunities to build a stronger relationship with my comrade, never mind me. We were just starting. A case of “work with what you’ve got” not what you haven’t. There were some interesting conversations related to his sphere that he missed out on.
With 20 mins to “kick-off” he received a text apologising for something “coming up”. No-one else within 20 minutes (we tried twitter) wanted the ticket and it’s a short fun filled event. They must have known long before that because their office was at least an hour away from the venue. Our obviously frustrated fellow sports fan had travelled even further than his guest.
Doing the decent thing isn’t always easy
Yet they could have put him on warning something might come up. I don’t mind being “first reserve” when opportunity knocks. I suppose the nature of humans not wanting to give bad news or offend someone often means that they end up offending someone….or two, or three people. After all, your personal brand is not what you think, it’s what people say about you when you’re NOT in the room. Being up front takes communication skills yet it shows you value people and their time.
Without knowing them personally, there was no need to take a further interest in their business updates on social media because it is imperative that people in their sector keep ALL lines of communication open. They might not be getting opportunities that are suited to their technical skills, or even worse, getting recommendations from clients that do know them.
Wrap Up; Hosting events is a fantastic way to grow a brand yet no shows are inevitable. People that don’t attend are often talked about in conversations they are not a part of.
Top Tip; If accepting invite to events make sure you really can make it or have a last minute reserve in mind.