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Bars can provide a great place for networking. Most people think of networking as a slick, entrepreneurial thing that only certain people need to do. Well that is not what it is at all, networking is just a great way to socialize and hopefully make some friends/connections that might come handy later.
This does not mean that you have to get drunk every night in a bar to be successful. Bars make networking easy, people are normally happy when they are in a bar having a drink. So it is easy for people to become more confident and open to new people. Certain bars also provide great ways for people to meet and interact. Example: Trivia night.
Networking is sort of just a professional way of saying making new friends, but these friends you are making will hopefully will have positive impact later on. Networking is about making connections within your industry that you might be able to use or they might be able to use you.
The more connections you have the easier business and life can be. If you have a good diverse network if you need something done you should have the contact already.
We would love to know how many business ideas have been invented with a beer in their hand at the local. Whether it is a couple of friends having a couple of beers and talking crap, when an idea strikes or it is a new friend that tells you about their idea. Bars can build businesses.
This is why they are great places for networking, You don’t need to be a super social person to network. You don’t need to be the loudest person in the room. You just need a good bar that has the right people.
You need to find a bar that suits the network you need. Look at the network you are looking for. If you are looking for a network of local builders you would probably hit the local pub. If you are a real estate agent maybe a cocktail bar. When looking for tech entrepreneurs maybe head to a taco Tuesday or Trivia night.
Salespeople use bars and clubs as great list builders a good salesman talks a lot and at a bar or club they will be the one asking a bit more personal questions.
You need a reason to go. If you just walk around pubs all night trying to talk to people it might be a bit weird. Events are great ways in, sometimes there are networking events which are really great ways in. But you sort of need that thing that brings people out and gets people social. Trivia can be a good one because people normally go to the trivia which are on weekly/ monthly so you will see the same people over and over again. Soon it is only natural that you will talk to each other.
Work drinks, the biggest way in is work drinks. Normally going out for work drinks you hang with the people you work with. More than likely you will get introduced to friends of friends so you will get to build your network.
The reason why bars are great for networking is because of one important element- Alcohol (“dutch courage”). Once you have had couple of drinks you are more likely to let loose and talk to people. This is the main part of networking-talking and asking questions.
Make sure to not drink too much mainly because it is not good for your health or image.
All this said there are plenty of ways to network, but we like the bar ones because we love bars. So go get a drink and start talking to people, even if you don’t build a strong business network you might just make some new friends.
Tell us what you think below in the comments.