Ask the Readers: Do You Attend Networking Events?

By Ashley Jacobs on 10 July 2012 (Updated 24 July 2012) 61 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Francesca, Betty D, and JoAn for winning this week's contest!

Everyone has heard the saying "it's not what you know, but who you know." Oftentimes having a connection at a company you want to work for can help you get your foot in the door and land a job! One of the best ways to connect with other professionals is to attend networking events.

Do you attend networking events? If so, how often? How do you find events? Have you ever met someone at an event who helped you find a new job? Have you ever helped someone you met at an event get a job?

Tell us if you attend networking events and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — one for random comments, one for random Facebook "Likes", and another one for random tweets.

Mandatory Entry: 

  • Post your answer in the comments below 

For extra entries (1 per action):

  • Go to our Facebook page, "Like" us, and leave a comment on this article telling us you did, or
  • Tweet your answer. You have to be a follower of our @wisebread account. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, July 16th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after July 16th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
kate

I consider myself an informal networker. :)

Guest's picture
Christie

Nope! I don't like the whole "networking" aspect of things sometimes. But my business is so small that I don't really have the $$ or time to do much schmoozing, etc. And that's okay, I like it that way! It's not something I can do full time right now, so it works for me. Maybe later though...

Guest's picture
Matt

In college, I went to networking events but didn't end up generating leads. I did however get a job from a personal connection, which proves to me that networking of any sort is very valuable.

Guest's picture

I go to networking events regularly. I don't do it to seek clients, but rather to stay on the top of people's minds in the community. It's also a great way to meet interesting people you would never cross paths with otherwise.

Guest's picture
Kelly

Left a like on your Facebook page.

Guest's picture
Patrick

I do not attend formal networking events, but I should. I believe my lack of networking has contributed to the slower movement of my carer than I would like. I am very interested in others' suggestions about how to identify and capitalize on networking opportunities.

Guest's picture
Elizabeth

I definitely feel that I should as I've just been told my company has been sold but its so hard to find a sitter after work for my daughter.

Guest's picture
Margaret Davis

I do not attend networking events. First off, I'm unaware of any such events in my field or parallel fields in my area. Second, I am uncomfortable in large crowds of individuals I don't know.

Guest's picture
Thrifty Writer

Yup. As a freelancer, it is necessary. There's only so much you can do online, and meeting in person just tends to be better for me.

Guest's picture
Jenifer

No, I don't, never have...

Guest's picture
Jenifer

I liked you on FB :)

Guest's picture
Brandon

I try to attend as many as I can. If I can go with a friend or two, it definitely makes the experience more enjoyable and is easier to meet people. I make sure to research what the event is about and if it's of interest then I'll definitely put in effort to go!

Guest's picture
Ellen B

no - I don't attend

Guest's picture
Ellen B

I follow on facebook

Guest's picture
Kate

I did when I was in grad school, but it usually boiled down to one or two people at the table with jobs and everyone else at the table who desperately wanted jobs eying them hungrily. Lately the professional org for the field I want to enter hasn't been as active, but I'd like to attend more if I can.

Guest's picture
Rebecca B. A. R.

No, I've never attended a networking event, and I never plan to go to one either.

Guest's picture
Ang

I used to attend these kinds of events when I was still actively working. Now that i'm a stay at home freelancer, I don't get out as often.

Guest's picture
Lisa

I haven't attended any networking events in a long time but did occasionally before I retired.

Guest's picture
Guest

Nope, never. But I guess I would if I were out of a job.

Guest's picture

yes, i do

Guest's picture
tami

nope! never tried it! i suppose i would if i were looking for work.

Guest's picture
Traci

No, I don't attend networking events.

Guest's picture
Diane

We attend local networking events on occasion. Since most of our clients are not local, we attend events at industry conferences around the country. We deal with clients by phone & online on a regular basis and it's helpful to meet them in person when possible. The personal connection is important.

Guest's picture
Diane

I like Wisebread on fb!

Guest's picture
MELISSA HANSSON

Networking makes me a nervous wreck. I want to be better at it, but I'm intimidated by large groups of people, especially ones that I don't know. I need to enhance these skills, though, because knowing someone is the best way to find a job in my town.

Guest's picture
MELISSA HANSSON

Liked on Facebook. Thank you!

Guest's picture
midsouthmouth

I attend a yearly convention in person and I have found many contacts and some new friends by doing so!

Guest's picture
Christie

Liked and posted on facebook too! :)

Guest's picture

Nah, networking events intimidate me for some reason!

Guest's picture
Diane

Hello. I've actually never left a comment before so this is a new endeavor for me... (keeping my fingers crossed that my message actually "posts").

Re: Networking events- I went to my very first one just last month... I never received so many business cards in my life (nor distributed my card out so much)! The pros- you meet a lot of new people who share the same interests as you "work/job related" but I'm left wondering if meeting all these people is really beneficial or just time consuming... It reminds me of the 80/20 rule (google if unfamiliar)- Are these people the 20% or the 80? On that end though... I did meet a gentleman who specialized in a service (auditing clinical sites) I was in need of so nonetheless, I thought of him... I figured I could research his name online first to make sure his credentials panned out. It's too bad that I didn't get his business card though.

Guest's picture
Therese

I occasionally attend networking events, but I have never gotten a job through one. I have met some interesting people that I am now friends with, though.

Guest's picture

Liked you on FB!

Guest's picture
Betty D

I don't. I work for a very large agency, so I network right at work.

Guest's picture
Betty D

I like you on Facebook.

Guest's picture
Meister

My industry happens to be something of a niche (specialty coffee), so any industry-wide event is essentially a networking event, but I've never attended anything specifically marketed as such. It's incredible how making that personal connection with someone can come back to reward you later on down the line!

Guest's picture
DeeDee

No, I have not attended any networking events.

Guest's picture
Nicholas

Before I got my current job I attended a few but that was more than 5 years ago. Lately I have not attended or had the desire to attend networking events.

Guest's picture
Nicholas

I have wisebread liked on facebook.

Guest's picture
Kristie

I haven't gone to a networking event, but if I heard about one that interested me, I would give it a shot.

Guest's picture
blake

I just finished law school, and I go to networking events, but much less than some of my classmates do. I believe in substance over quantity. Go to networking events to meet new people, have good conversations expand you interests and understanding of issues and develop personal and of course professional relationships. If you are treating networking events like a catered happy hour for you and the people you already hang out with you are wasting your time, and the other people in the room will see that too!

Guest's picture
KelR1

No, I've never attended a networking event.

Guest's picture
KelR1

Like you on FB.

American Debt Project's picture

I attend a lot of networking events to promote the company I work for, and it has led to a lot of connections in the industry. We keep in touch outside of these events and who knows, I will definitely call on them when I am in the market for new work!

Guest's picture
Lynda

no i do not although i probably should

Guest's picture
Lynda

i like wisebread on facebook

Guest's picture
Betty D

I responded on Twitter. https://mobile.twitter.com/#!/1bets1/status/223349400305541121

Guest's picture
Raina

I like WiseBread on Facebook.

Guest's picture
Raina

No, I've never attended a networking event and wouldn't want to. It seems so tacky, like you're using people and being used, and everyone's pretending to be all friendly and okay with it. I'd prefer to just meet people in normal settings and become actual friends, and if you're able to help friends out at some future point, great.

Guest's picture
Francesca

I don't attend networking events, mainly because I'm still at a stage in my life where, as a student, I don't have much to offer anybody. Maybe when I'm about to graduate from medical school, I'll have something to offer!

Guest's picture
Donna

No...not so much cause I'm busy with the kids !

Guest's picture
cwaltz

I informally network. I don't own a business or need a job presently. However, I do understand the value of networking and understand that circumstances can change.

Guest's picture
JoAn

I have never been to a networking event.

Guest's picture
JoAn

I also follow on Facebook.

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Sara N

Not usually - I am an introvert!

Guest's picture
Happy Love

I've attended teaching conferences to get new ideas for my classes, but I've never attended a networking event as part of a job search.

Guest's picture
Carmen

I'm pretty shy and reserved by nature, so attending events specifically for networking are like torture to me

Guest's picture
Snowy Heron

Not often, but I will be in September for a special project that I hope to get off the ground. I will need contacts to break into a new field and these may help. We'll see.