How do I decide which networking events to attend?

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My time is very precious for me as I am running my practice on a part-time basis, being the controller for Automaxx, my in-laws family business, being a father of two young children (7 and 3 years old) and being the treasurer of the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women in Windsor, Ontario. There are business owners that try and attend every single networking event possible. For me, this is impossible unless I make a ton of sacrifices. One of those sacrifices that I do not like to give up is family time. I will sacrifice it sometimes to get work done for clients, but not necessarily networking.

When I am deciding on networking events with so many out there this is the criteria I typically use:

  1. Will it cut into my family or client time?
  2. Is there a topic or speaker at the event that intrigues me?
  3. Do I see a benefit for my practice or my clients if I attend?
  4. Do I have a stake in the event such as being a board member of the organization putting on the event?
  5. Am I comfortable around the people who will be at the event?

For example, this week there are two events being held. One is a large party style networking event while the other is a smaller event at a local winery. The large event is really not my style being an introvert and I may not be comfortable in that situation. Honestly, I am not sure how productive the networking would be for me. Instead, that night I have now committed to pumpkin carving with my family.

The smaller event should be quieter than the party. As well, there is a great speaker talking at the event. I also want to gather more information about the group putting on the event to see if I want to attend future events and possibly join their membership. I feel that I can be more productive at this event due to the atmosphere and the individuals that are attending the event. The only sacrifice our family has to make that night is my wife has to take my youngest daughter to watch my oldest daughter take swimming lessons. Normally, I would be at home with my youngest daughter.

How do you decide which events you attend as a business owner? Head to our Facebook Page and let’s have a conversation about it.

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