September 2016

Page 27

UPDATE: UK In this technological age, when reference to ‘the net’ is the internet, the worldwide web and all things associated with this information superhighway, we need to recognise the value of the alternative net: the networking event, a point lodged in actual space and time where like-minded people, the bearers of particular information and expertise, are drawn together to exchange this information and expertise. It’s become all too easy to hide behind a screen, searching for information online, finding the experts, checking out the latest news on the latest services and products. It’s also all too easy to forget that for most, if not all of us in our industry, our knowledge and expertise has developed from regular, longterm face-to-face interaction with the endless list of individuals encountered socially and professionally throughout

our working lives. Perhaps the renaissance of network events is down to the very real success of online forums and special interest groups (SIG’s). The need to meet the expert “in the flesh” and discuss current trends and difficulties in a group brings the issues to life, airing subtle points that online forums tend to miss.

Analyse the value Network events are improving year on year, driven by high attendee expectations and the need to justify the costs of the event itself, but perhaps more so is the need to justify the real costs of being away from the workplace. Enticing as it may be to escape work and enjoy a natter with old friends, network events need to offer quantifiable benefits that can be applied once back at work. “What will I know that I don’t know now?” and “What will I be able to do that I can’t do now?”

UK correspondent Lynn Webster emphasises the continuing importance of face-to-face networking. or “Which valuable people will I meet that it is difficult for me to meet now?” Network events can be the added value component of our working lives if managed and accessed thoughtfully. And there is no shortage of topics to constructively discuss. Targeted events, ranging in size from a select few to a wider more general gathering of the industry’s like-minded, great and good are what we need to keep the industry moving forward. Let’s perhaps consider the power of networking in bringing new blood to the industry: host events on a university campus and at schools and invite students, their tutors, employment advisers and teach-

Die britische ECJ-Korrespondentin Lynn Webster hebt hervor, dass Networking-Veranstaltungen in unserer in zunehmendem Maße internetbasierten Welt weiterhin wichtig sind.

ers. We know that direct contact with those in the know can inspire a better understanding, the richness of roles within the industry, meeting real people, doing real jobs and hearing their stories of success and enjoyment. As autumn descends and the days grow shorter and colder, now is definitely the time to get out from behind that screen and engage in active networking. What do you know? Who do you know? What can you bring to networking that is beneficial to others, and what can you take away that is beneficial to you? And remember the best of all? Networking is enjoyable!

La corrispondente britannica di ECJ Lynn Webster enfatizza la continua importanza degli eventi di networking nella nostra società sempre più basata sul web.

2016

Lynn Webster, correspondante d’ECJ au Royaume-Uni, souligne l’importance des manifestations de réseautage dans notre monde toujours plus connecté par l’Internet.

Casting the ‘net’ wider

INNOVATION AWARD ENTRY Equipment

September 2016 | ECJ | 25


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