Most networking events have the same set up, and many times the same consistent group of attendees. This is especially true if you are sticking to one area or region. For many types of businesses this works! Building relationships within a community, providing cross referrals, and just establishing a reputation or name recognition are valuable outcomes of spending time mingling at these events. Plus it can be fun!
What if the time you spend networking could instead be used to gain inspiration, insight and renewed energy without ever having to leave your office? One of the reasons I believe coworking is so popular is because it not only gives you access to other successful people, but it also has an encouraging aura. Forbes even published an article in last May's issue reminding us, "That those we spend time with, are those we become!" This is true in business and personal circles. Getting to spend time with intelligent, creative, and most of all, successful people, encourages us be more like them.
Most coworking spaces hold gathering events for their members to mingle at. These events allow members to interact with each other and discover more information about the companies/people in the space. Events can include casual socials, training programs, and breakfast/lunches. Depending on the coworking space, the events can be seasonal, weekly or monthly. The events not only create larger networks for the members, but also create positive energy. It's always nice to talk and learn more about the people you share your workplace with!
Establishing connections also encourages you to be held accountable and to utilize the services offered from the other members at the coworking space. The other members at your coworking space will check in on your current projects and be eager to hear how your work is going. Having a multitude of companies and people so close by can be great when you are looking to collaborate. You know the member's name, information about what they do and their contact information. Working at a coworking space grows your list of business recommendations for your connections, and enables you to be added to other members' recommendation lists as well.
Coworking spaces create a networking community unlike any typical office setting. Coworking spaces provide the setting to network, and all you have to do is show up! Having a diverse group of people and businesses forms generates conversations to help build lasting relationships. Cultivating community and connections are what coworking spaces are best at.