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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Networking and measuring

Here's some video from the Design and Construction Network Happy Hour in Arlington, Virginia (Washington D.C. area). Last night, I "replated" the page in the Design and Construction Network Report announcing this event with this video image.

I've previously indicated that effective networking may be difficult to measure. The reason is that if you are successful in networking, you often achieve the highest results indirectly, through sharing, generosity, and relationship-building, and sometimes the results from your efforts can take months, if not years, to mature into meaningful business.

However, following the Design and Construction Network Happy Hour in Washington on Tuesday, I'm able to set up a simple measurement grid, and will (without obviously disclosing individual results without permission) will track the results on this blog, monthly.

First measure: Today or tomorrow at latest: Count business cards collected and initial communications initiated. My camera provided the perfect resource to capture as many cards as possible in a short time period -- after all, I'm the semi-official journalist for the group, and so took many pictures, gathering business cards to organize and sort the captions. I also have something to share right away, their images.

I'll also calculate the costs for the trip: Travel, hotel, and other expenses. These go into my expense report, anyways.

Second measure(s) include responses to initial communication and any favors or things I can do to help people right away. I had a few specific requests from current and previous clients, and will work on these right away.

Next, I will track the evolution of the leads into referrals or business, and once the business is achieved, measure the revenue achieved over time.

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