I have a strong opinion about business networking. Buckle up buttercup! Here we go!
I built my business, Goldstein Media, on going to networking events and participating in chambers of commerce. It’s been more than 15 years, well past the 5 year threshold where companies are said to either make or break it. It hasn’t been easy and to be honest some days, weeks, months are still an uphill battle. But I love what I do and I love the freedom of doing my own thing.
Recently, I learned about a shake up at business organization that I used to frequent. I was very active in it for many years. I’m happy with some of the outcomes, but a bit salty about others. Ultimately, I think the pandemic had a lot to do with it.
This brings up a salient point — the pandemic’s role in changing how networking is done.
Add A Whopping Amount Of Covid 19, A Dash Of Salt, And Boom… A Networking Shakeup
Covid 19 brought business networking into the 21st century. It brought many people and organizations to technologies like Zoom to do meetings and interact with each other.
Those organizations that embraced the “new normal” (God I hate that term) flourished in many ways. Grew their communities and came out the “other side” even better than how they went in to the pandemic.
On the other hand those who floundered and didn’t take note of how things were changing rapidly failed, crashed, flamed out.
A Tale Of Two Communities
I belong(ed) to two co-working communities. One in my town and one in Philadelphia. The latter I joined after the start of the pandemic when the Philadelphia co-working space embraced the online world and built a vibrant community for its members to stay in touch and get through the craziness together. The networking is great and collaborations have abounded from this pivot.
The former, insisted on doing absolutely nothing. It seems like the leadership didn’t give a shit and stuck its head in the ground. It was a vibrant amazing community before the pandemic, but Covid 19 sucked the life out of it.
Now that the pandemic is now just an endemic and something that’s just here and much more treatable. One co-working space, the one in Philly, that embraced the online world is thriving both in-person and online. The other sold to the landlord and is a shell of its former glory.
So What Heck Is My Point?
My point is that now that we’re through a the pandemic (for the most part) we can learn quite a bit. Online networking is here to stay. Ignoring that fact and ignoring what worked and didn’t work during the “pandemic times” is idiotic.
The communities and organizations that embrace technology and go hybrid will succeed much easier than those who don’t adapt.
Heck, it’s Darwinism — plain and simple.
What do you think, hit reply and let me know.
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Find Of The Week
I’ve been playing with various Mastodon/Fediverse clients both mobile and on the desktop and Elk is by far the best one yet. Currently still in Alpha, Elk adds features to the Mastodon/Fediverse experience that the standard interface doesn’t and makes the whole Fediverse playground more fun. Check it out in a browser near you.
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As always stay curious!