The purpose of professional networking is to build business relationships within the parameters of your industry. In-person networking has stood its ground despite the growing popularity of social networks that facilitate professional networking online like LinkedIn.
Professionals agree that networking has a vital role to play in business, an Oxford study found that 5%-20% of new customers come from trade shows. Despite the value it can offer, many people turn down the opportunity to network because of fear or discomfort. While feeling intimidated by networking is common, it can be avoided by changing your mindset and putting less pressure on yourself. Instead of focusing solely on coming away with a long list of contacts, try to make a few meaningful connections. The key to connection when you’re networking, is conversation.