Power Networking Blog

Thursday, 15 September 2016 07:24

What research exists about professional networking groups?

I'm trying to understand the entire market of "professional networking groups" including what are the largest groups, how many people attend, what professions utilize professional networking etc.  Thanks in advance for your help.


From my experience, there is very little research, if any on the subject of professional networking groups. Just to clarify the question a little I would expect that you are asking about groups where professionals network, rather than networking groups that are professional in nature. Professional Associations, might meet that criteria.

A couple years ago I decided to research the topic of networking for business purposes. I found that there were a few books that were of value but I didn’t really find anything that offered sage advice i.e. from somebody that was speaking to me. My challenges with networking aren’t generic, they are specific to me.

In a search of the internet I found literally hundreds of articles on the subject of business networking and since then I have collected hundreds more. In reading these articles a theme became apparent to me. There is a saying in the comedy business, apparently only ever heard by me as nobody else has, that there are only seven original jokes in the world and that every joke is actually a version of these seven. We have our knock-knock jokes, which arguably aren’t even jokes. We have the travelling salesman. We have two or three walking into a bar … that would hurt! We have puns … the lowest form of humour unless its your own!

I found this to be evident in reviewing the articles. There seem to be a limited number of themes based on the subject of business networking and each writer seemed to be basing their content on what they read in someone else’s article. I wasn’t seeing anything new or any original ideas.

Power Networking for Shy People: Tips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly! by Rae Stonehouse.So I created my own book on business networking Power Networking for Shy People: Tips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly! In it I provide sage advice i.e. practical advice that works. I outline a strategy that levels the networking playing field for introverts and extraverts. I have given a couple dozen workshops/seminars on the techniques that I have developed and have received favourable feedback.

If I was looking for specific research on the effectiveness of business networking I would check out BNI (Business Networking International). I believe they are the recognized leaders in referral networking groups. Their data may be more anecdotal in nature but I believe there would be value to it.

Here is an article that I have written that may help you with an overview of these types of professional networking groups. From my How’s Your Net Working? Blog …

Strategies to Get the Most out of your Business Networking Referral Group

as originally answered on Quora.com

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