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Jul/25/2013 - 09:37:04 pm

How to Find the Most Worthwhile Networking Events

This article goes beyond describing how to best find the most proven networking opportunities. It describes 10 distinctive events that will describe any professional entrepreneur’s personal resources.

Remember two oft-repeated, enduring maxims when beginning an active, aggressive professional-networking strategy: good hunting is where you find it, and fortune favors the bold.

If you yearn to go forth and talk shop extensively at networking events with fellow professionals and entrepreneurs, we can only reasonably presume that you’re hoping you’ll come upon untapped knowledge and resources that will tantalize your profit-oriented thinking.

Nowadays, niche conferences abound catering to the unique needs and issues of many particularly skilled, ambitious go-getters. When reasonably, stick with the most field-specific events possible. Though profession-tailored conferences will probably prove the most fruitful, there are some can’t-miss networking events that hone general skills that many professions and sectors adapt in their own unique ways.

In particular, we’d all do well to rarely miss an instructional networking event zeroed in on ever-changing social media.

Start with the internationally organized Social Media Week. With events, seminars and happenings hosted in Hong Kong, San Francisco, Toronto, New York and myriad other cities every February and September, it’s more a series of great catch-all networking events hosted and organized locally by a broad assortment of digital, social media and mobile experts. Most importantly, there’s almost assuredly something happening wherever you may find yourself.

If Social Media Week proved fruitful and intriguing, then note that once a year on dates that vary annually by city, the likes of Austin, New York, Tel Aviv, San Francisco and other locales host their own respective takes on the Twitter-centric 140 Character Conference. These brisk networking events embody the Ferris Bueller philosophy: life moves pretty fast. Jeff Pulver organized this event premiering in New York in 2009 to be a series of network events in which professionals exchange ideas in real-time at rates of 140 characters or less. Individual talks clock in at 10 minutes or less, whereas featured panel discussions can be as succinct as 15-20 minutes each. These are networking events that don’t waste a motion.

Entrepreneurs have veritable buffets before them of networking events doubling as support groups for folks accepting the daunting challenges of starting a personal business and enlightening idea exchanges. Some even cater to narrow niches facing unique hurdles in entrepreneurship, such as the monthly meet-ups that span 107 communities across the United States, India, Europe and Thailand. These events aid younger businessmen and women leading their brands in swapping perspectives and concerns without fearing communication breakdowns in generation gaps.

More broadly, there are the Entrepreneurs Roundtable events held monthly in New York and bi-monthly in Tokyo and Istanbul. A revolving-door lineup of entrepreneurs and investors leads each regular seminar’s presentation on startup strategy, complete with a concluding Q&A session.

Whatever networking events lure you into the idea exchange, remember one last tip: keep your ears open. You never know who’s about to announce, “Oh, I just came from this amazing conference! You missed out…”

Ruth Watery is a Harvard business school alumni with a degree in international business. She’s always traveling across the globe to foreign countries, and using her Harvard alumni credit card to develop her credit score at no cost, which lets her pursue her career without any setbacks.

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