“Fish where the fish are” is an axiom common to marketers, salespeople, and business professionals everywhere. It means that in order to find the leads you need, you’d got to search where they’re most likely to be found – you hunt for deer in the forest, not in the desert. The same principle can be applied to networking.
When it comes to technology hotbeds, Silicon Valley is an area known the world over. What’s interesting is that although it may be the largest region of its kind, it’s not the only region by far. Portland has the Silicon Forest, New York the Silicon Alley, and the Midwest the Silicon Prairie, all with their own subtleties and cultural qualities (one site lists over 79 such Siliconia). Within each of these areas there are hot spots in town favored by technology types – if you’re seeking out someone in that field, find those places.
While serendipity plays a large factor in networking, your odds will only improve if you can be serendipitous in the right places. It might be an office building, a coffee shop, or an area bar. Wherever the venue, you should identify these locations in your city. Start spending time there each week and you may find that the networking comes to you.
Where are your town’s technology hot spots? Do you find it’s easier to meet people there than at networking events?