Over the years, I have been to myriad events that have gone under different titles, but have all, effectively been ‘networking’ events. Usually mad-eyed business people veer across the room to engage in obsessive chat about what they want me to buy from them until I whimper and slink off. There was an enjoyable speed-networking event a few years ago, but that was probably because there was a shift of emphasis and also I was sitting down!
My attitude to networking has been influenced by reading on the subject, but also by what I myself would like to achieve. A network of good contacts and opportunities is my gameplan, which makes these obsessive sellers quite simply terrifying!
Tilia Publishing UK’s first book has been my grandfather’s It’s Warmer Down Below: the autobiography of Sir Harold Harding [HJBH], 1900-1986. He was a hugely important influence in my childhood, but working through the book, it became obvious how little I had actually known of his world. He networked magnificently! All through the book he is chomping in fancy restaurants, or having dinners with eminent engineers. Sitting spending quality time with interesting people, discussing widely. He did this all over the world.
One magnificent example of this and how effective it could be took place the day after he was appointed to sit on the tribunal investigating the disastrous colliery slip at Aberfan in South Wales, (50 years ago, on 21st October 1966).