In a world where professional relationships have become as important as technical skills, networking has become an essential tool for any individual seeking career success. However, finding effective ways to network can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know where to look. In this article, we share 8 networking activities to help you expand your professional network and meet new people.
These activities are varied and offer networking opportunities for different personality types and preferences. In addition, they can help you develop skills that will be useful throughout your career, such as communication, problem-solving, collaboration and leadership. Whether you’re looking for a new job, want to find a mentor, or are just looking to meet like-minded people, these networking events are here to help you achieve your goals.
What is networking?
Networking is the professional practice of developing and maintaining relationships with other professionals in order to expand one’s network, find new professional opportunities, and gain exposure in one’s field of expertise. Networking can take many different forms, from attending local networking events to connecting with colleagues in one’s own workplace.
Networking can also include making connections with professionals from other companies or industries, which can open new doors and lead to interesting professional opportunities. Indeed, network relationships can often lead to job offers, project collaborations or referrals for potential clients or business partners.
In addition, networking is an important way to stay up-to-date on trends and developments in one’s field of expertise, as it allows one to meet people who share similar interests and passions. Attending networking events or conferences and trade shows also allows one to attend presentations and discussions on topics relevant to their field, which can help expand their knowledge and stay on top of the industry.
Ultimately, networking is an essential professional practice for any professional wishing to enrich their knowledge and professional career. By developing and maintaining relationships with other professionals, one can not only expand one’s network and find new professional opportunities, but also stay up to date on market trends and developments, which can help build one’s credibility and reputation as an expert in one’s field.
What are the best networking activities?
The Safari Cocktail
The Safari Cocktail offered by Kronos Experience is a perfect networking activity for companies looking to organize an original and fun team-building activity. It’s an activity that can be coordinated in a short time thanks to a simple and intuitive mobile application. By completing numerous challenges, participants are pushed to interact with each other which strengthens their relationships, in addition to the photos and videos in augmented reality that accumulate throughout the activity that reinforces the good mood.
This unique experience is a mix between an icebreaker, a photo safari and lively discussions that will allow you to awaken the rare species that sleep among your colleagues. This is a 100% autonomous activity, requiring no facilitator. All you have to do is present participants with a short video and a QR code, and you’re done! Instructions and background are summarized in less than 2 minutes in a thematic video, which adds a touch of humor and makes the experience even more enjoyable.
Safari Cocktail is perfect for groups of 10 to 1000 employees and can last between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the needs. This activity is offered in two languages, French and English, and is adaptable to any environment, indoor or outdoor. You’ll be surprised at how this activity encourages lively discussions among participants, creating lasting memories and strengthening professional ties.
Speed networking is one of the most effective ideas for encouraging interaction between guests. You can start by setting up chairs or tables in a station. Then, choose a random topic that guests will discuss. For example, you can choose industry-specific or trendy topics. Each participant can give their point of view for one or two minutes. Speed networking is a great opportunity for guests to gain new perspectives on the topic of discussion and create a fun atmosphere.
Collecting business cards
Business cards provide a great opportunity for guests to interact effortlessly. To get started, ask your guests to bring a supply of business cards to your event. Then, have them collect as many cards as possible from other attendees, while letting them chat and interact while they collect the business cards.
The scavenger hunt tops the list of in-person and virtual networking event ideas. For a large in-person networking event, you can start by dividing attendees into smaller groups of less than ten participants. Then, set a timer and let guests use clues to find the hidden treasure.
Happy Hour Networking Event
Happy hour networking events are meetings between professionals in a more informal and casual setting, such as a restaurant or bar. During these events, participants interact in small groups and discuss their careers and goals over drinks and appetizers. These events typically have a host who shares a brief speech explaining the goals of the event before welcoming everyone.
Because these events are more relaxed, they take away some of the stress associated with networking, which can help you interact with others more confidently. Happy hour events are a great opportunity to meet other professionals and build business relationships, share ideas and tips, and find new opportunities.
An interesting craft project is a perfect activity that fosters creativity and bonding among colleagues. First, make sure you choose a craft project that your team will be interested in, get the essential supplies, set up workstations in your space and voila. To encourage conversation, you can divide participants into teams of five to ten participants and let members work as a group.
Although icebreaker questions are often considered mundane activities, you can personalize your session. For example, instead of reading the questions, you could have a balloon toss session. For this idea, you can write icebreaker questions on a balloon and throw it to participants. The player who catches the balloon should read aloud the first question they see.
Sample icebreaker questions include:
- Which ice cream flavor best describes your personality?
- What is your guilty pleasure?
- What is your favorite movie?
- What is the productivity trick you are advocating?
- What is your most memorable vacation spot?
- What is your favorite dish?
- What is one skill that every employee should have?
- What is your hidden talent?
Icebreaker questions tend to engage participants and lighten the mood of the event. Be sure to choose questions that have no wrong answers, that allow for self-expression, and questions that all participants can answer.
Organizing sports activities is one of the best networking event ideas for young professionals. To keep everyone happy, let the volunteer participants play their favorite game while the other participants cheer. Some fun sports activities that will encourage conversation include tug of war and relay races. Other participants may also enjoy less athletic activities, such as yoga.