Most clubs and networks invite their members to events that require time to attend. About 80% of all networking events last between two and four hours, with just under 20% lasting longer (mainly sporting events or outings, such as golf tournaments, rallies or hunts). The absolute exception are meetings lasting less than one hour.
Very often, events take place in the evening hours, often in the early afternoon.
Two to four hours is the time needed for an extended dinner, an evening at the theatre or two films at the cinema. So you invest about the same amount of time at most networking organisation events that you could otherwise spend relaxing with friends or family over dinner or the like.
“Why do events take so long?”
The basic idea behind this time frame is that you want to give the participants of the respective meeting enough time to get to know each other intensively and to build a personal relationship. It seems to be an unwritten law that several hours are needed to deepen contact with other people. However, this traditional approach has long since ceased to correspond to the reality of life for modern city dwellers. On the one hand, such meetings clash with the concept of modern families: both young fathers and working mothers value spending time with their children. On the other hand, the idea of spending a large part of the available time with a single network contradicts the multi-layered interests of modern people. Having a network is seen as important and desirable, but this network must still leave room for other activities.
The longer the events of a network last, the more they contradict modern life concepts. This is why established networks like Rotary, Lions or churches have so much difficulty generating young talent these days. The traditional systems simply suck up too much time. The counter design, the social networks on the internet, in turn make the opposite mistake: With the exception of XING, they all do without “real” meetings, events are not even planned here. This retreat to the virtual level is an aberration. No events work just as little as events that are too long (we will go into this topic in more detail later).
You can recognise a good, modern network by the fact that it offers short, efficient meetings. In addition to the usual, longer events, there must be the opportunity to get to know other members in meetings that last no longer than an hour.