Almost all so-called “networking events” are based on the principle of independent human interaction. It is assumed that people, as social beings, automatically establish contact with each other when they are in the same room for a longer period of time. There are actually only two formats (with the exception of sport-oriented networks):
The 2 formats of establishing contact
A. The seated meal
B. The standing reception
All other formats are merely slight variations on these two basic concepts. Whether it is a lecture, a concert with row seating, a guided tour (e.g. through a museum), or if you pray together: You end up standing or sitting at a table with others.
Why do I always have to introduce myself?
At a “seated meal”, participants are introduced to each other (usually in the form of place cards with their respective names placed in front of the guests’ plates); at a standing reception, on the other hand, there is now increasingly the American tradition of name tags worn by all participants on their lapels. All this represents (from a historical point of view) quite a decline in manners. Both at the courts of Europe (until the 19th century) and in bourgeois salons (until the 20th century), it was customary to introduce guests to each other personally. From historical films we are all still familiar with the tradition that important guests at court receptions were announced loudly by the court marshal as they entered the room. In this way, people knew who the guests were, whose names were handed out to the participants on lists beforehand. Today’s “name tag culture” ensures that the style of most events is relatively anonymous and defined by hyperactive contact hunters and salesmen. Those who don’t feel like approaching complete strangers and asking for their names, those who are perhaps a bit reserved, tend to remain lonely at the so-called “networking events” of today.