How to connect with IT peers and get the most out of your networking group.
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for the importance of networking as a whole let’s dive into how to do this to maximize your experience.
Senior IT executives are busy. This is the norm for high-level executives in any industry, especially tech – which is ever-evolving and constantly growing. But, finding and connecting with peers, both new and known, is necessary for helping IT executives grow and develop professionally.
Here are a few approaches to help you seek out and make business networking connections with peers in your industry:
- Join professional associations or groups
- Attend conferences and meet-ups
- Utilize social media platforms
- Keep an open mind to learning and connecting
- Be authentic and build trust
There are many ways to find and connect with peers in the IT industry (and other compatible industries). These are merely a few actions to keep in mind to help get your feet wet.
1. Join professional associations
Joining professional associations is a great and feasible way to find and connect with other senior executives. Whether it be a local, state, national, or international group, joining one of these associations will grant you further access to business networking events and conferences and bring insight into your industry from other high-level executives from other corporations.
2. Attend conferences and meet-ups
Attending conferences can be a straightforward, almost guaranteed avenue to connect with peers and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the field. The almost guaranteed notion is simply due to the fact that making meaningful connections requires participation in discussions and the extra effort to follow up with peers you meet along the way. You get out what you put in. As we continue to readapt to in-person events, many conferences are being held in person but there are still virtual opportunities offered in many areas as well.
3. Utilize social media
Social media is only expanding, with various platforms to find and connect with peers in the industry. Linkedin is a popular platform for professionals and job seekers to network and find peers in their related industries. Conducting relevant research and connecting via Linkedin is a great way to find and connect with like-minded professionals. Bizzabo is another great app to use when attending networking events by helping you easily connect.
Here at Captive Eight, we offer our own exclusive peer community of senior IT executives. Club Captive Eight grants you access to executives across North America to discuss innovative ideas and gain insight from other executives with expertise in the industry. You will be able to connect with peers one-on-one to exchange views on critical IT topics, participate in roundtables to share insight on current industry trends, and establish Peer Advisory Councils to streamline specific initiatives. Captive Eight’s relationship manager will handle the logistical details, assisting in coordination, advisory councils, and rewards for joining the club. This platform will provide you will the information and tools to harness the insight and experience of your peers to maximize the results of your initiatives.
The potential for these connections to lead to more in the future is high, and why fight what the world is so evidently devouring? Take advantage of what is right at your fingertips.
4. Keep an open mind to learning and connecting
When connecting with other individuals in the field, keeping an open mind and being willing to learn is necessary. It can and should be a two-way street, a push and pull if you will. You should build relationships where you can share your own knowledge and experiences, but similarly, listen to their own insights. Keeping an open mind can help you explore and establish relationships that can provide you with different outlooks to help you streamline your own corporation and its success. Captive Eight Events are the perfect way to connect to other senior-level executives whom you can benefit from connecting with, drawing on their diverse perspectives and technical experience within the industry.
5. Be authentic and build trust
Building trust is the key to not only making a good first impression when connecting with peers but maintaining those connections for the long term. It is important to be authentic, honest, respectful, and reliable when making connections. Once you’ve made the initial connection, follow up and thank them personally, whether it be a phone call, an email, or in person if possible. This shows them that you were attentive in your interaction, and will make them think of you when new opportunities or insights come up.
With intentional effort and time carved out of the office, business networking will prove to be one of the smartest investments you can make for both yourself and your corporation.