WHY NETWORKING IS IMPORTANT IN THIS INDUSTRY
I was inspired to write about the importance of networking because I have taken on a new venture in addition to my business, Events by Candace and in doing so, I realized how IMPORTANT networking is. As an event planner and business owner, it is VERY important for me to network and attend networking events. I think it is important to network with other event planners, wedding planners and/or others in the industry to get ideas, share experiences, etc. Besides networking with event planners, I also network with others in the event planning industry (hotel catering managers, caterers, pastry chefs, photographers, DJ’s, florists, etc.). This is equally important as well because I cannot recommend these individuals to clients if I have not personally met them myself or have seen their work, etc.
What I have learned in this industry ... YOU cannot be afraid or shy because you have to network and introduce yourself to the world. I don’t mind meeting others in my field of work because I don’t worry about other event planners competing with me … I believe WE all have our OWN unique talent and creativity. We should not focus so much on competing against one another, because (1) you lose sight of your goals and (2) we actually might need one another in certain circumstances. For instance, if I am booked on a certain date, I will most likely call upon another event planner that I have met, networked with, etc., to ask if they would be interested in an event that I am not available for. Or let’s say I need to know about a particular DJ, photographer or venue and I know that one of my fellow event planners has worked with this particular individual, company or venue…because I have networked with them and formed a relationship with them, I will not hesitate to call upon them for any suggestions and/or feedback they can give. I was once told by a prominent wedding planner in Chicago that “we should view one another as colleagues, not competitors,” because at the end of the day everyone has their niche and there are enough weddings and/or parties for everyone to plan.
TWO important things to remember:
1. Attend all networking events with a specific purpose in mind.
I’ll admit, I’m the sort of networker who attends events with the idea that I might meet someone interesting … someone with similar passions … someone who might be able to help me but, on the other hand, might not … and that’s okay! Attending a networking event can be a worthwhile endeavor indeed … as long as you have an MO. If you show up with a specific goal, find someone who shares the same goals and ideas as you, get their card, email them and set up a meet and greet.
2. Surround yourself with people who can help you.
The book, "How To Be Useful discusses the Master Mind," a construct by Napoleon Hill in which you create a group of people dedicated to furthering the interests of those within the group. Ideally, those you choose for your group are superior to you in varying ways, whether in ideas, creativity, access to contacts, etc. It makes sense to surround yourself with those who have something you lack and need, and networking events are certainly ideal places to find such people.
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It’s important to form relationships with others in the industry. I enjoy and LOVE to network and market myself and business. If I don’t put myself or company out there, no one else will. And let’s not forget the importance of Facebook and Twitter. I use both social networking websites to promote my business. I have met so many individuals in the industry, as well as clients from both sites. In the two years I have been in business, I have attended open houses at various venues, photography studios, floral shops, restaurants, etc., and various industry networking events (and the invites are still coming). From ALL of the events I have attended, I have met many individuals in the industry, gotten their cards, followed up, set up meetings, and most importantly … formed a business relationship ... and I continue to work hard to form and build these relationships for my business, as well as for my clients, but for now...
SPECIAL NOTE to event planners and anyone else in the industry … In the next couple of months, I will be working to host an open house with individuals in the event planning industry to re-introduce a gallery that can host weddings, wedding receptions, birthday celebrations, etc., etc. DETAILS WILL BE COMING SOON. If you would like to be a part of this fabulous event and see what this gallery has to offer for you and your client(s) or future client(s), please email me your information so that I can put you on the guest list and send you the information. Also, I will be INTRODUCING the OWNER and GALLERY soon.
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