You must’ve heard the quote — Your Network is Your Net Worth — several times. And it’s true to a large extent. Whether you want a job change, get more clients, or grow your business, you must have a solid network.
However, networking is evolving, and new trends are emerging.
Let’s look at some business networking trends for 2024 and how to capitalize on them.
Business networking trends in 2024
Here are the biggest networking trends in 2024:
Digital business cards for faster networking
Digital business cards have become ubiquitous in networking for individual professionals and businesses. A digital business card enables you to share your information instantly and digitally, making contact saving and sharing seamless.
As a result, the digital business cards market is projected to reach $242.3 million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 11.2%.
Digital business cards are more convenient than traditional business cards. Moreover, they’re more cost-effective because of their real-time editing capabilities. You can edit the contents of your digital business card without changing its URL.
A digital business card also offers unparalleled customization options, especially when you use a top-notch digital business card solution like QRCodeChimp. You can choose from page templates, colors, font styles, information fields, and other options to truly customize and personalize your digital business card.
The rise of social and virtual networking
Even though the pandemic is over and in-person events are back, virtual events continue to go strong and deliver ROI. In a survey of virtual event organizers, respondents ranked higher event registration (36%), greater ROI (26%), and better attendee engagement (25%) as the key benefits of virtual events.
So, while in-person events like trade shows have returned, virtual events are taking center stage in networking.
The rise of virtual networking has increased the importance of social media networking. Professionals are increasingly using platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook to connect with fellow professionals to grow their networks.
Evolving in-person networking
Though in-person networking is still relevant, it’s not the same as before. Digital elements have seeped into traditional networking to make contact and information exchange seamless between.
For example, traditional business cards have undergone a few design and functionality changes, the most prominent of which is the inclusion of QR codes.
You’ll find many business cards with a QR code pointing to the person’s digital business card, social media, website, YouTube, etc. A QR code adds digital capabilities to a standard business card, allowing you to easily share information and build meaningful connections.
Business cards have also received a design upgrade. Various design styles, like modern, playful, minimal, and elegant, are becoming popular.
Prioritizing social capital in organizations
Social capital education is now a priority in organizations as networking becomes the key to lasting and meaningful business relationships.
Social capital refers to the relationships and networks that shape the quality and quantity of an organization’s interactions with customers and other businesses.
Various organizations conduct dedicated seminars and workshops to train employees on the importance of techniques of networking. Additionally, HR teams are implementing effective networking techniques for employees, such as digital business cards and other tools.
Increasing use of networking tools
Modern-day networking happens primarily on digital channels, making it essential for organizations to leverage technology. Networking tools are being implemented across sectors and departments to empower employees to network more effectively.
Some networking tools used widely for better and more productive networking are:
- Digital business cards
- QR codes for contact sharing
- LinkedIn and other social media platforms
- Social media management tools for automating social media actions
- CRM solutions to register connections as leads
How to leverage these trends for better networking results?
Now that you know the major trends in networking, let’s move to some actionable steps you can take to leverage them.
Use digital business cards
Digitizing your networking efforts is one of the primary steps for better results. If you rely solely on physical business cards, it’s time to go digital with digital business cards.
Head to QRCodeChimp’s Digital Business Card solution and create your free digital business card and QR code. With several templates, information fields, and customization options, QRCodeChimp is the perfect place to create digital business cards.
You also get enterprise features like white labeling, folders, and subaccounts to seamlessly manage digital business cards for an entire organization.
Attend virtual events
Virtual events are now the hotspot for B2B networking. Participate in virtual events related to your industry to connect with other professionals and build important relationships that expedite your career and business growth.
Upgrade your in-person networking efforts
Increasing participation in virtual events doesn’t mean you should skip in-person events. Watch for trade shows and conferences and participate in those relevant to your industry.
However, be sure to equip yourself with the right tools for the best results.
Your business card will likely be your ace weapon in in-person events. So, upgrade your business cards for more effective networking.
Here’s how to do it:
- Include a QR code on the business card pointing to your digital business card, social media, website, etc.
- Use a compelling design that aligns with your company and professional image.
- Include essential information like name, contact details, and professional information on the card.
That said, improving your communication skills can also significantly improve your in-person networking outcomes.
Boost your presence on virtual networking platforms
Create a LinkedIn account if you don’t already have one. However, having an account isn’t enough. Be active on LinkedIn, build connections, talk to people, and comment on their posts to boost engagement and form lasting relationships.
Additionally, explore relevant networking platforms in your industry and participate there. For instance, Active Rain and NextDoor are emerging social media platforms for real estate agents.
Educate employees about networking
If you’re a senior executive or HR manager, you can conduct regular seminars and workshops on networking to upskill your employees. Educating employees on the importance of social capital and how to build it can help them produce better results, be it sales, marketing, support, or customer relations.
The rise of digital networking and social media has changed networking, and you must adapt accordingly. The trends discussed above gave you an in-depth insight into marketing trends and how to capitalize on them.
Now, you also have actionable ways to upgrade your networking and build lasting relationships.
Digital business cards are an essential pillar of modern-day networking. Head to QRCodeChimp’s Digital Business Card to create your digital business card for free.