OK – it’s time to talk about socialising and meeting new people now that restrictions have been lifted. Despite so many of us becoming wholly unsociable, binge-eating, TV-addicted, pyjama-wearing recluses – it’s about time that we made some effort to return to normality.

The imposement of lockdowns truly unwrapped the wondrous capabilities of the internet. The UK effectively became a digital network of friends, families and colleagues utilising the virtual world for meetings, quizzes and parties. During a period where our primary method of connection was via zoom calls, networking events soon adapted to virtual platforms, allowing professionals nationwide to meet and communicate from their living rooms. It goes without saying that online networking has its advantages (not just the benefit of sporting the shirt & tie with PJ pants ensemble), the flexibility and ease of virtual meets are undeniable. However, face-to-face meetings are finally making a comeback and our team at MYP are absolutely here for it! If you’re feeling anxious about networking in person and need some encouragement, take a look at our rundown of why offline meetups remain important:

Facial Recognition

One major aspect of networking events is meeting new people. When faced with an abundance of faces in one room, it’s important to make yourself known. As we all know – it’s nice to put a name to a face. By presenting yourself and allowing your facial expressions, gestures and personality to shine through, your face automatically becomes more memorable. Networking online can be very two dimensional, as a tiny thumbnail photo has a difficult job of truly representing one’s entire personality.

Conversations without Disturbance

It is no secret that most video chat platforms come with technical downfalls. It is practically impossible to conduct mass conversations on fuzzy webcams with frequent technical disturbances. When it comes to attempting to conversate over virtual meetings, it is easy to miss conversational queues. Inevitable lagging and disruption tend to result in numerous people speaking all at once, which is almost certainly going to conclude in broken discussions. By networking face-to-face, you can easily maintain communication and have an actual, human chat!

Fast Responses and Feedback

Familiar with sending a direct message and being completely blanked? Yes. We have all been there! A face-to-face conversation is never as one-sided, so there’s not so much chance of being ignored (hopefully). Exchanges in person are smooth and productive. Networking online simply doesn’t allow seamless conversation. By attending an offline networking event, making valuable connections is smooth, simple and time-efficient. Relationships are built 10x better in person, as this allows tones, language and expressions to be accurately interpreted and understood. Exchanging messages can be counterproductive and your messages are unlikely to truly reflect you and your personality.

In a Digital World, Why Are Physical Networking Events Important?

We would like to emphasise the fact that the digital world is still an incredible place to meet and connect. As social media as a networking platform popularises, it is easy to disregard the need to meet in person. Networking in person allows professionals to create much deeper and personal connections. Whether you conduct video meetings or simply slide into someone’s inbox, you can never truly be yourself. Elements of ourselves become missed and easily hidden in short-lived virtual conversations. Attending an event showcases who you are in the best way possible, enhancing your ability to communicate and meet new people efficiently and effortlessly.

For all the reasons above and much, much more – networking in person is essential and must not be a neglected concept. Most importantly – it’s fun! Here at MYP, we dedicate ourselves to organising dynamic networking events that are, first and foremost, enjoyable. Networking online can in fact be incredibly isolating, there’s nothing quite like eating and drinking with like-minded people outside of your own home.

Are People Really Ready to Attend Events?

Getting out to meet new people is as beneficial to your professional life as it is to your mental health, which is why we are super thrilled to provide exciting events for the community. When it comes to discussing post-pandemic fears and anxieties, attending events is something many people may have struggled with. As restrictions ease, MYP is keen to revitalise the professional lives of young people and organise exceptional events with comfort and safety in mind. Therefore, we conducted a survey to get your honest opinions about face-to-face networking. Over 60% of voters expressed that they were ‘very comfortable’ to begin returning to in-person events. With around 30% of voters demonstrating that they feel ‘fairly comfortable’ to return to in-person events. The results of this survey are fantastic – as we have gained affirmation from the people that matter most that a return to normality is on the horizon. As expected, this is excellent news for all of us here at MYP. We are keen to move forward in formulating real-life events, allowing young people to network, connect, develop and make friends. 

Ready to Take the Plunge and Dive Straight Back into Networking? Come with Us!

MYP could not be happier to FINALLY provide a space for like-minded people to meet, network and have fun. We give young professionals in the Manchester area an excellent opportunity to venture out and meet new people, progressing professionally and socially. Our events are always organised with the intent to deliver something unique, inclusive and exceptional. If you – like us – think it is time to ditch the lounge clothes, scrub up and actually see real-life people – look out for our events and opportunities.

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