Does networking have to involve alcohol?

Booze, glorious boozeNetworking in any profession is extremely important. Getting out there and meeting new people is the cheapest and most effective way to promote yourself and your services, and when you combine this with moving to a new country then the benefits increase. I was straight on it when I first moved over to Denmark and it soon paid off with a number of paid photography jobs around the city. But I’m left puzzled as to why the vast majority of networking events revolve around booze and bars.

There are some fantastic groups out there for people to join, and I’m sure many of you will be members of some of these. For example, provides the opportunity to join groups for foreign speakers, musicians, expats and a whole range of other titles. I’m a member of several of these myself. But my inbox continues to fill up with offers for nights out around town, crazy parties on boats and ticket-only pub crawls every Friday or Saturday night. Pub quizzes are the only exception as you get to use your brain and the beer isn’t all there is to it. But whatever happened to a proper meeting where people get to put their cards on the table and say ‘this is me, and this is what I do’? Proper networking is about plucking people from your list whom you trust and who can provide some kind of a service, not someone who you meet up with to get paralytic every few weeks after payday.

Someone reading this over my shoulder would no doubt say, ‘well why don’t you organise something yourself instead of complaining about it?’ So that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Here’s my offer:

If you’re reading this and you want to meet people because of what they do and not what they drink, then you’re welcome to drop me a line and tell me about yourself.

Do you run a printing business; play a musical instrument; design websites; like to cook; care for the homeless; do you travel often; are you an artist; do you know people who could be useful in certain situations; work in local government; or teach a skill? In other words, are you interesting, do you have a story to tell, and do you want to meet people who might be able to help you and vice versa? That is what networking is all about. I want to meet all of the above mentioned people and I want to learn from you as well as offer you my professional skills if you need them.

Opening up to strangers can be difficult at first. We’ve all been in a situation with unknown folk for the first time and no one really knows what to say. But it doesn’t take long for the curtains to eventually come down and soon enough strangers become friends (maybe that’s where the booze helps out). So to begin with I will include everyone in all emails so that we can all read each others likes and dislikes and take one step closer to becoming a proper network of associates.

All of the other bloggers on must be on here for a reason, so why don’t we all start together?

I can be contacted at

Who’s with me?

©Image Copyright Derby Telegraph / Matthew James Harrison 2012