You’ve probably heard enough “networking is important” speeches to carry you through 2016. Networking can be a great tool to gain brand recognition for you and your firm. Networking events also give you an opportunity to meet potential clients and connect with other legal professionals. However, it’s important to be mindful of the time you invest in networking events. Here are some things to consider before attending your next networking event:
- Who will attend this event? Some event planners offer a registration list to individuals who plan on attending. This gives you an opportunity to think about the possible connections you can make. If there is no attendee list provided, check the invitation language. If this event is trying to attract new lawyers searching for legal jobs and you’ve been in practice for a while and are not currently looking to hire new attorneys to your firm, this is an event you can sit out.
- What is the cost of attendance? There are often free networking events. However, many events will have a registration cost. Consider the money you’re investing in attending and weigh the possible return on your investment. Are you paying for the valuable connections you’re going to make or the chicken cordon bleu?
- Do I have time? It’s important that you invest your time wisely. Once time is spent, there is no getting it back. In a profession that relies heavily on the billable hour, it’s important to evaluate how you’re spending your time.
- Do I have a plan? The key to successful networking is being prepared and being purposeful in your efforts. Are you attending this event in hopes of connecting with another legal professional? Your next client? What is your firm doing right now that you can promote while attending this event? It’s important to go into networking events with a plan.
- What will I get out of this? It’s important to evaluate the value of attending networking events. Perhaps, this event will allow you an opportunity to meet a new mentor or become one. Think about what you can gain from attending this event. A networking event’s success is not measured by how many people you hand your business card to, but how many valuable connections you are able to make—quality over quantity.
The next time a networking event invite comes across your desk, take a few minutes to think about it before registering. If it’s true that your “network is your networth”, then it’s wise to make sure your networking is worth it.
Monisha Yowell is the Marketing Coordinator for Lawyers Mutual. Monisha connects Lawyers Mutual with our insureds and the legal community through the use of social media. You can reach Monisha at 800.662.8843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.