If you agree with me that networking is one of the surest ways to expand your horizons wouldn’t it make sense to look for networking opportunities beyond the norm? Networking events, social media meetups, and chamber meetings are all great places to meet people and be introduced to companies. When you think about it—any gathering of folks is a chance to network, and there are a lot of those. As for the wager mentioned in the title, I’m going to offer five alternate networking possibilities—I’ll bet I surprise you with at least one.

5 Networking Ideas   

Present – Use your expertise to present to clubs and share your knowledge at events. When you’re networking, let folks know you’re willing and able to give a presentation. When you present, arrive early, stay late, and interact with as many people as possible. Being the presenter is your ticket to talk to everyone. How to Prepare to Present

Volunteer – Help a charity or organization that speaks to your passions, and you’ll connect with like-minded people.  Who could be better to network with?

Take a class – Learn a new skill. It doesn’t matter if it’s academic, the arts, or physical training, you’ll meet people on a common ground, and isn’t that a great place to begin a conversation?

Walk a Trade Show – Please tell me you already do this. If not, schedule time to walk the show and network.

Start a networking group – If you can’t find a group that fits your specific networking needs—start it. Begin a group around hobbies and interests and then help each other. Why Creating a Networking Group Rocks

Maybe I Should Have Started with this…  

The best way to make any of this work is to offer help first. As a presenter ask the audience individually and as a group how you can help. If you’re a volunteer find out what others need. When you walk a trade show ask vendors what they hope to accomplish at the show and many will reciprocate. How to Prepare for a Networking event

Did I Win the Bet?

Were you introduced to a networking opportunity you hadn’t previously considered? Were you at least reminded of one? There are chances to network everywhere—if you look for them. If I didn’t give you any new ideas, I lost the bet. I owe you one. Send me a comment, and I’ll pay up—how can I help you?