In today’s world, technology is taking over every aspect of our lives. Business and networking have exploded in the digital age. You can send tweets while you are waiting at a stop light (not recommended) or write a blog post from a local diner. Our whole world has made a huge technological turn, and although networking has joined the digital world full-force, some networking is still looming in its conventional state.
Businesses really should take advantage of both digital and conventional networking opportunities. Both methods provide valid results, so let’s explore the pros and cons of both networking methods to find what will best benefit your company most.
Huge Audience – Pro
The Internet puts millions of people within your reach. Digital networking opens doors to a much larger population than conventional networking. Social networking sites make it easy to reach people across the whole globe.
Cost – Pro
One of the greatest benefits of digital networking is the low cost. You can spend next to nothing to send information out to your friends and followers. You can educate, entertain, and interest thousands of people without spending a penny. Social networking sites require no fee and can provide access to a large number of potential business connections. A lot of networking gets done online because it is fast, provides results, and is free. It requires no plane ticket and no admittance fee.
Less Intimate – Con
Many believe that the business relationships formed online are far less intimate than those created in a face-to-face setting. Meeting business contacts in person will likely create a deeper, long term relationship. The virtual relationships brought through digital networking do not have the human element conventional contacts have.
Face-to Face Interaction – Pro
There is nothing like face-to-face interaction. Having a relaxed, real conversation with a person cannot be duplicated online. Conventional networking at networking events brings an aspect to the relationships we form that digital networking cannot. You are able to hand out business cards and communicate your sincerity of wanting to have a business relationship with someone.
Meeting contacts in person can help build trust between business contacts. These ‘off the record’ conversations can create better understanding of one another and what person can bring to the business relationship.
More than Writing– Pro
Meeting possible business contacts in the flesh helps you better determine which relationships you want to pursue. Meeting someone in person can tell us much more about them than a few typed comments or a glance at their resume. Traditional networking events make it possible to learn the values and views of people to see what relationships will benefit your business needs.
Cost – Con
Conventional networking can cost a pretty penny. Travel costs for attending networking events can be significant. In addition to airfare, there is the cost of a hotel room, transportation to and from, and admittance fees to these events too. You must also factor in the time you spend away from the office. Even if you make great contacts at these events, they come with a steep price tag.
About Steven Wendt
Steven Wendt is the Internet Marketing Manager for UVcards.com – a leading provider of professional, high end business cards online.