In The Triangle, the networking scene is teeming with possibilities. Every week, Meetup lists a dozen or more networking events every week, while well-known associations like the American Marketing Association Triangle and North Carolina Technology Association host numerous gatherings monthly.

Amidst this sea of opportunities, how do you decide which ones are the right ones?

Welcome to a journey where networking transcends the mundane; where every connection is a step towards a deeper, more meaningful engagement.

In this ongoing column, I’ll delve into the art of purposeful networking, shedding light on strategies that empower business professionals to forge connections that matter.

Recently, I had the privilege of conversing with two luminaries in the field of networking:

Meet Danny Rosin, the ingenious co-founder of Brand Fuel and the altruistic mind behind Band Together — a nonprofit powerhouse dedicated to uplifting the Triangle community.

Joining him is Chip Royce, the principal at Flywheel Advisors, Inc., a connoisseur of networking who meticulously curates the pulse of networking events in the Triangle.

What exactly does purposeful networking mean to them?

Rosin asserts, “It’s about arriving with a spirit of curiosity and generosity, not just a sales pitch. It’s about nurturing relationships, about giving before you take. It’s a dance of reciprocity.”

Royce echoes this sentiment, “Many networkers flounder because they lack direction. Before you step into the fray, ask yourself: What’s my goal? Who do I want to meet? What can I offer? Preparation is key — it transforms meetings into productive exchanges, building your brand through mutual respect.”

For those serious about networking in the Triangle, our experts have sage advice:

Rossin urges, “Be inquisitive, be genuine. Offer value before expecting anything in return. Embrace vulnerability — it’s the catalyst for genuine connections. Remember, purposeful networking sets in motion a virtuous cycle. The more you give, the more you get in return, perhaps even a career-changing opportunity.”

Royce adds, “Prepare with purpose. Have a clear request in mind — seek advice, offer assistance. And don’t neglect the power of face-to-face interactions. The Triangle is a goldmine of talent and innovation waiting to be tapped into. Your sustained engagement will propel both you and the community forward.”

In essence, the key takeaway resonates: amidst the flurry of networking opportunities, equip yourself with intent. WRAL Techwire, NC Tech, Meetup and Flywheel Advisors all offer listings of networking opportunities.

I encourage you to network in person — and with a purpose. And remember — the true value of networking lies in making it about them, not just about you.

About Chuck Hester

Chuck Hester is the co-founder and managing partner of A Purpose Partnership, a marketing and business consulting firm that works with clients to kickstart their success. 

During his 35-year career, Chuck has worked with numerous small- and medium-sized businesses, with a highlight having served on the iContact executive team that grew the company to $50 million in sales and exited at $169 million.