Recent years have shown significant developments in technology and communication which are undeniably having an impact on networking and the ways in which people can meet and connect. The Presso Networking platform is at the forefront of these changes and we thought it would be interesting to go through some of the key changes networking events are going through at the moment. Let’s take a look at some trends in networking, and how this crucial discipline is changing and evolving.

Automation

Automation is a trend that is having a huge impact on networking. While meeting the right person is useful, it is even more valuable to maintain the relationship by keeping in touch regularly through updates or meetings. Automation is defined as “the creation of technology in order to control and monitor the production and delivery of goods and services”. In other words, it performs tasks that were previously performed by humans, which lately, has been applied to information technology and communication. Automation’s impact on networking comes from the simplicity and ease it now requires to set up reminders and automatically follow-up on conversations. One impact this could have is the simplified “keeping in touch” with new contacts. Catch-up invitations can be scheduled from the day you meet a person, and with online tools to automate follow-ups you will be able to completely automate the follow-up process.

Woman working on a laptop

The Rise of Virtual Networking Events

Back in 2015, 50% of marketers had attended a virtual networking event. Virtual networking events can be fun, inexpensive and make it very easy for you to connect and get in touch with other attendees. Virtual networking events have the advantage of taking the pressure off attending events alone, they are also a great way to meet people from all over the world rather than just your local area. This is a big game changer if you don’t live in a major city where networking events are a common and widespread occurrence.

Networking Events as Marketing Events

According to a study by Bizzaboo - “41% of marketers surveyed believe that events are the single-most effective marketing channel over digital advertising, email marketing, and content marketing. This statistic has increased by 32% since 2017”. With so many marketers recognising the value of business networking events, it is likely that there will be an increase in the number of networking events as a whole but also an increase in marketing -focused networking events.

While networking is crucial in business and entrepreneurship, it is undeniable that the very nature of networking and events is changing and evolving. The positive side is that all these developments and trends can be embraced. While there is a shift towards more online and virtual networking techniques, face-to-face interactions remain the most powerful way to build relationships and trust with partners. Lastly, the increased realisation that networking events are also a great marketing tool will contribute to a rising number of events.