Effective business networking is the linking together of individuals who, through trust and relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another.
Keep in mind that networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others.
Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings so that you will pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for. Some meetings are based more on learning, making contacts, and/or volunteering rather than on strictly making business connections.
I would recommend this to everyone providing you aren’t just in it for yourself, but for the wider Forebiz community. Quick Links
To make sure you stay in touch with your networks, try a tool like Contacts Journal ($), a contacts relationship management system that helps you keep track of interactions with individuals. Over time, the details of a relationship can start to fade. Contacts Journal allows you to keep detailed notes on all of your interactions (meetings, phone calls, emails, etc.) with each contact and to plan for the future by using the to-do list to add upcoming events to each contact's log. You can even call, email or SMS from within the app.