When it comes to the nuts and bolts of any successful businessperson, the ability to network is right up there as one of the most important skills. As opposed to the frantic 9-5, networking is conducted during the hours of business leisure before and after work.
That is why it is important to be in the right environment to network. For example, if you are at a multi-day conference or training session and the venue has no lounge/bar/restaurant area it will be very difficult to network and talk with like-minded people.
Networking is the skill of combining life skills, social skills, presence and confidence and it is a mandatory function of business for entrepreneurs, salespeople and client-focused teams. But networking shouldn’t be limited to just said groups, it is a skill that anyone in any role can perform and do so successfully.
Building relationships can be for business gain but also personal gain too. Attracting a new client is good for business but building connections can put you in good stead for your personal development and future aspirations.
What makes the best space to network?
As in most walks of life, you are generally best placed to build connections and relationships when you are most relaxed and comfortable. That is why networking during stressful and frenetic working hours tends to be less fruitful than before or after.
Take a walk through the busy streets of Liverpool Street, Soho or Victoria on any given weekday after 5 pm and you will find the pubs and bars heaving with business professionals sharing a drink and discussing work and pleasure in a much more relaxed manner than they would have been just a few hours before.
This environment can be overwhelming for some, so it is important that the place you are hoping to network can offer alternatives. For example, Roffey Park Institute offers a bar area for those who fancy a drink after their training day. Although the bar area is not like the busy streets of central London if you did want to network elsewhere then our restaurant or relaxed lounge area might be more to your liking.
That moves us onto the next space to network, a lounge or relaxed seating area. This is the ideal space for those that prefer to network over a cup of coffee or tea. Any good conference or training venue should provide a warm, comfortable area where you can again discuss work or leisure with like-minded individuals from different organisations.
Having a discussion over some food can be another way to network. Sometimes if you are team training then you are likely to sit with your team but if you are representing your organisation at a conference or an open training course then you may be seated with people you might have never spoken to. This again is a good opportunity to build connections beyond the ‘classroom’ walls.
The other space where networking flourishes is of course focused networking events. These types of events are good if you are looking to build confidence by connecting with people you otherwise would not.
Choosing a learning venue with networking in mind
So, when you are looking into your next learning or conference venue bare these things in mind. Do you want your people to build connections? Potentially grow your client base? Increase future business opportunities? Build brand awareness and reputation? Ideally, the best venues will cater for this and offer areas for you to network at comfort.
Thankfully Roffey Park Institute does this. As well as boasting a sleek and comforting lounge, a warm and exciting bar and a welcoming and decedent restaurant, Roffey Park is a thriving hub of business and professionals. It is a space where collaboration flows and connections grow.Tags: Events, Face to face