Business Networking (sometimes just Networking, for short) is a term for the establishment and building of professional and business contacts, developing and creating business opportunities within a particular community (the Business Ecosystem) or network of people (hence Networking). Business Networking is based on (personal) references and personal introductions. People with high “know-who” are valued the most.
It is the creation of a business social network outside the workplace through personal contacts. It is a socio-economic activity, form of marketing based on personal contacts and introductions - either personal or through specialized websites (business social network). It is social networking, where the main aim is business activity - the creation of business opportunities, products application or search of investors (usually private investors).
Note: Short term networking can be mistakenly associated with a computer network.
Business Networking in practice: Business networking can take many forms. These are usually organized activities taking place through various platforms - either through personal meetings within organized events or through specialized websites. The key thing when business networking is a mutual interaction, presentation, recommendation and personal introduction.
Organized business networking activities take the form from one-off to the weekly meetings and events (conferences, seminars, summits, meetings, breakfasts). Some networking platforms are closed only for club members (Business Clubs), others are open. Some networking platforms focus on supporting local entrepreneurs, while others encourage global business activities. During business networking events people meet and or find opportunities of mutual cooperation. There takes place an exchange of information, contacts, business cards and there is built a mutual trust. In case of two businessmen who can’t or will not find a space for mutual cooperation, they can possibly find room for their business partners. ”… Hard to find something together, but I know someone who could be useful for you …“
Within business networking there is also plenty of space for innovation, since the discussions of people from different fields often result in new ideas.
Specialized business networking websites have a similar function - they facilitate the connection of entrepreneurs, introduce, add references, recommend services, products, people. The most popular web platforms for business networking include LinkedIn and XING.