No, not a typo… we really did go netwalking on Friday afternoon.
I know what you’re thinking and I was thinking it, too.
You see, my wife is the queen of networking. She can meet people, strike up relationships and work a room as well as anyone I know. In fact, she’s so good she doesn’t half make me feel inadequate.
And because she’s so good she gets invited to a lot of networking events. She tells me she doesn’t like it; but I know she does!
Sometimes I get dragged along to these events and sometimes I sub for her when needed. Friday afternoon was one of those occasions when Renee had been invited along to a new(ish) type of event and she decided it would be good for us to do it together.
I have to say that I do enjoy a walk and would go so far as to say that I like hiking, too. So it was with some dread that Renee told me that this particular event combined walking and networking – hence the name.
It sounded dreadful to me – like a good walk spoiled.
The allotted time came and I mustered as much enthusiasm as I could… you know the sort of thing fellas, where you walk the tightrope between letting your loved one know that you don’t want to do something and going too far and getting a full and frank exchange of views.
But how wrong I was.
The idea is inspired. The walk was through lovely countryside and the weather was good. Because the ‘meeting’ was three hours (or all of Friday afternoon) there was time to spend one to one with every member of the group and it seemed somehow easier to chat things through whilst walking and having a shared experience… there was less pressure some how.
As always on these things it was a pretty disparate bunch of people and there were some people where there wasn’t much in the way of business opportunities. But there were some very real business benefits as well.
To round it all off, there just happened to be a pub at the end of the walk. And the 45 minutes we spent having a drink was probably the most productive of the lot.
I was trying to work out why this event should have proved so successful and I think it’s because I was forgetting something that Renee always keeps at the forefront of her mind.
Networking (or netwalking) is about building relationships, not going to a meeting. Netwalking forces you into a relationship through shared experience.
I, for one, will be going again.
And you can take your dog!