Members depend on their association for a number of services – education, resources, talent development, etc. One of the lesser-discussed, yet invaluable benefits associations provide to their members is networking opportunities with peers on a local and sometimes even global level.
When associations gather for their conferences, it gives members not only a chance to learn something new from the keynotes and breakout sessions, but it’s also a chance for them to meet new professionals in their industry and learn from each other. Many individuals who are part of an association would even say the most valuable part of these events is the time spent getting to know their peers and bouncing ideas off one-another.
More often than not, professionals within the same industry deal with similar challenges. Through networking and building connections, chances are pretty good that someone in your network will have already met and overcome whatever obstacle you face next in your work. Having a peer network creates a safety net of shared experiences that can ultimately save your business time and money.
In addition to growing a network that can help problem solve, networking through your association can lead to opportunities, ranging from joint ventures and client leads to recruitment and professional advancement.
Association events often feature a mixture of members from varying career levels. Company presidents and CEOs are always on the lookout for new talent to join their team or recommend to their peers, while younger members are eager to learn the ropes and advance to higher positions down the road.
Making connections within your industry is more critical today than ever before as peer networks are gaining more and more channels to share industry best practices, solve problems with each other, and even recruit talent. So the next time you attend an event with your association, don’t be shy to introduce yourself to someone new, get some business cards and grow your network!