4 Examples of Business Networking Events: How to Make Connections and Build Relationships

Networking is an essential part of any business, and events are a great way to make connections and build relationships. From SXSW to Dreamforce, there are many different types of business networking events that can help you meet potential customers, partners, and employees. SXSW is one of the most popular networking events of the year for professionals in the digital, music, film, and education industries. It offers a variety of opportunities for networking, including meetings, multi-day rooms, specialized parties, round tables, and more.

Additionally, there are plenty of chances for informal networking in the exhibition hall, in the corridors of the exhibition center, and on nearby streets. If you're looking for tips on how to network effectively at SXSW, check out this video tutorial. Empower 21 used Bizzabo to simplify its registration process for both in-person and virtual attendees. This integration allowed in-person attendees to connect with their virtual counterparts and created a unified audience that could communicate and interact with each other. Snowflake Summit is a virtual networking event that offers more than 60 online sessions with over 50,000 professionals. Participants learn about the latest data science, data engineering, and data exchange technologies.

Even though the event is held online, participants still have the chance to collaborate and connect with each other. The Forbes Under 30 Summit is another great example of a successful networking event. It includes a Day of Service that partners with Boston public schools to allow participants to mentor local students. This strategy encourages networking and partnerships between attendees and the community while also improving brand sentiment. Dreamforce stands out from other networking events due to its use of personalization and the human touch. Attendees are referred to as “pioneers” which unites them as innovators within their respective sectors.

This simple tactic encourages the Dreamforce community by inviting attendees to consider themselves part of a family of more than 171,000 people. Participants can choose from over 55 sessions that are available live or on demand. Since social interactions have been limited due to the pandemic, people are looking for more opportunities for connection, collaboration, and networking than ever before. Networking events such as in-person or virtual meetings, professional fairs, trade shows, conferences, rapid networking activities and workshops can fill this gap. The Under 30 Summit also included Taste of Detroit (a street festival that highlights local food and drinks) and a music festival for people under 30 from Forbes. You don't need a huge budget to foster meaningful networks though - Forbes launched a mentoring program in partnership with the Close the Gap Foundation which unites first-generation, low-income and BIPOC students with Forbes's under-30 list creators. Networking drinks are perfect for networking with other professionals while having a few drinks in hand that will help you relax and network.

Corporate events are also great for networking with people in your industry or field as well as meeting potential customers. Online networking events cover a wider range of people and potential opportunities. Event promoters can be inspired by the community service aspect of the Summit by creating opportunities for connection within the community. Corporate events or executive networking events can be used to inform employees or the public about the concepts promoted by the organization, motivate employees by rewarding them for their work, celebrate various company milestones together with customers or employees or both, mark significant organizational change within the company, and encourage collaboration and networking between different entities. Networking is as old as time itself but has changed drastically over recent years. We recommend exploring all possible groups to manage time intelligently by creating networks with the right demographic.

AIGA's daily happy hour “Drinks with Designers” allowed informal contacts to be established to help attendees relax after a busy day at the conference. Sponsoring or organizing a roundtable to establish business contacts can help you improve your profile as a thought leader and connect with other professionals. While it may not necessarily open you up to direct business as you establish contacts through them, your exposure may bring you new potential customers. Chamber of Commerce groups organize local business events which can be great for connecting with employees or customers. If you have a position in an organization's management, marketing or human resources departments learning about events can help your career. We know how important timely follow-up is so during business hours we will contact you within 30 minutes.

Dán Kober
Dán Kober

Beer geek. Hardcore travel junkie. Lifelong coffee buff. Freelance problem solver. Unapologetic beer specialist. General travel guru.