One of the nagging things about the working world is the sense that you could always be doing more: offering more products, connecting with more customers, expanding to more locations, or increasing your reach online. You only have so many hours in a day, though – after a certain point, you’re going to need help. But who do you turn to?

Find Answers by Networking

There are some times when everyone has to close their social media windows, get out from behind computer and smartphone screens, and make genuine, face-to-face connections with fellow members of the business community.

People sometimes groan about networking (maybe they think it’s a little artificial), but it’s hard to make real change without making an effort, and networking can become pretty effortless once you put some practice in.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Statistics support networking; a report on networking compiled by Virgin America claims that 95% of people believe that face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships, and that 75% percent of people prefer in-person social interactions because of the potential to bond with new colleagues and clients.

And of course, one more detail from the report bears mentioning: 40% of prospects convert to customers through face-to-face meetings! Sometimes networking can yield quite direct results.

It Starts with Coffee

Networking in Blount County starts early in the morning, and it starts with coffee – and that’s no accident. Coffee cultivation began in the 15th century in the Arabian Peninsula, where coffee houses eventually became such major social centers they were referred to as “Schools of the Wise.” Eventually coffee made it to Europe and then North America, where it was actually a patriotic beverage choice after the Boston Tea Party.

Don’t Miss Coffee Club

This October, create your own “School of the Wise” with friends and acquaintances alike at the monthly coffee club meeting on Thursday, October 25th, from 7:45 to 9:00 AM at Blount Memorial Hospital in Alcoa. A great opportunity to build business relationships and give your business or organization some exposure, the meetings float to different locations each month and are open to anyone connected to a Chamber member business.

Check out the Afternoon Mixer

Not a morning person, no matter how much caffeine you can consume? Luckily there are still networking opportunities in the afternoon, especially the Chamber’s Afternoon Mixer. Offered quarterly, the fall mixer will be held on Thursday, October 11th, from 3:45 to 5 PM at the Life Care Center of Blount County, located on 1965 Stewart Lane in Louisville (the afternoon mixer also shifts locations). You can expect a similar tone and style to the coffee club, so grab a name tag, marker, and drink, and get ready to put your best foot forward!