I’m always presenting to student, faculty, staff, non-profits, and others on the importance of networking in the digital age but always remind them that in person networking is still a key to success. Why meetups are important to networking and growth shouldn’t be that hard to figure out. Here are five reason I believe meetups are important to your professional and personal growth.
1. Meetups Connect Like Minded Individuals
Search Meetup.com any day of the week, you will find meetup that interest you. We have been gathering with like mind folks from the time we were little kids invovled in after school clubs to sororities sister in college. Human nature has us flock to like minded individuals with similar interests to share and connect with throughout our lives. These people typically get you, whether it be a group of game developing geeks at Indienomicon or vegan foodies looking for places to dine together. These are your people and they understand your interest.
2. Meetups Foster Community Growth
Without meetups, I don’t believe much of the growth in Orlando’s startup and technology sector would have happened. Continuing groups of people across communities help lead to growth of that community. Because a voice of a few sometimes can’t be heard until it’s a voice of the many.
3. Meetups Help Share Knowledge
Meetups are about the community share something with others in that community. Most revolve around presentations, discussions, or demoes to help spread expertise, knowledge, and lessons learned to others in the group. It’s important to share and teach others, as well as to take in knowledge from others in your interest. We all have different paths in life and each one picks up different lessons along the way.
4. Meetups Can Provide Opportunity To Meet People Out Of Your Normal Circle
It’s great to have a good network of close friends but sometimes that can steer your away from learning about new opportunities. Branching out of your normal circle to a larger circle with similar interests can help you develop a network beyond your current reach. Many cities have several meetups with similar aspects but totally different people attending them. Could be the area they are hosted, who is involved with organizing, or just the day or time they fall. Connecting with others outside your reach will most likely give you a chance to grow as an individual and connect to those who could have a new opportunity waiting.
5. Meetups Are General Free Low Risk Opportunities
I can’t make every meetup that sounds interesting. I wouldn’t have the time to get anything else done in my life. You could forget reading my blog or watch my latest venture grow. Meetups do provide that low risk opportunity to give a group a chance. Majority of meetups are free, most don’t require you to sign a blood oath you will return next month, and many understand you can’t make every meetup. Give something a chance, if it’s not for you, you don’t have to return. Choose that you will go every other month or only when topics that interest you are happening. Just give it a try.
Now are you ready to meetup with some awesome people?
My favorite meetups in Orlando