I was skimming through my LinkedIn Groups the other day, and one discussion thread jumped out at me: Are networking events worth the time? The originator was frustrated that his forays weren’t putting him in a room with the people he wanted to meet.

Like many people, he is missing the big picture:¬†Networking doesn’t bring business. Networks do.

While I’ll certainly admit that some events prove a complete waste of time, most offer opportunities to meet interesting people. The job seeker he’s dismissing might just end up working at a place where you want to do business. That room full of vendors (hey, we’re all selling something) might yield your next partner or your next lead.

It’s very rare that you walk into a room of strangers and walk out with new business. But the connections you make today may just fill your pipeline over time.

Has this happened to you?

Photo by Matti Mattila (Flickr).