The importance of networking

On 8 May, the annual G&M Culinary Innovators Awards ceremony took place, a prestigious gastronomic event attended by the top names in Belgian gastronomy. However, the question that arose in our minds was: where were all the women? Each time we were told that they were not interested, could not find a sitter for the kids or countless other excuses. But now is the time to be part of the change: KOM UIT UW KOT.

Start with listening

The word 'networking' sends shivers down the spine of many women. They see it as an obligation and often think, "That's not for me! But what if we told you that networking is not just about handing out business cards? It's about building valuable relationships and helping others. A good networker is someone who is genuinely interested in the people they are talking to. They are not just looking at what the other person can do for them. Building relationships only pays off in the long run, both personally and professionally.

Quality over quantity

Networking is not about the number of contacts you make, but the quality of those contacts. So even if you only talk to two people at a networking event and go home with a sense of achievement, your evening has been successful. Remember that the next time you go and let go of the stress of the word 'networking event'.

Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen - Brene Brown

Effective techniques

Of course, there are some techniques that will make you more confident when you go to an event. Here are 3 tips that will help you:

1.            Personal Branding

Niki Claes, founder of Very Food Catering and Epic Club member, told us during a previous Masterclass that she feels more assured when she wears red underwear. It gives her the strength to be confident as a woman and ready to take on any challenge that comes her way. Red may not be your colour, but discover what clothes, make-up and hairstyle make you feel good and radiate that power.


2.            Elevator pitch

Writing an elevator pitch is not an easy task, but it is extremely important. A good 30-second pitch contains the following key points: Who are you? What do you do or offer? What are your advantages or what makes you different? And why is this of interest to the other person? Ask this in the form of a question to open the conversation. This is a struggle for many women, so we will comeback to this later. Subscribe to our newsletter to find out more.


3.            Set your goals          

This can be difficult for people who don't like networking, but ask yourself: where do I want to be in 1, 3 or 5 years? Do I need things now or later on? And who could help me? Asking yourself these questions/goals will help you to understand why you are going to that particular event. They don't always have to be professional goals, they can also be personal.

But as with everything in life, practice makes perfect, including networking. Be open to new experiences and get out of your comfort zone. Let's get rid of the excuses and take advantage of these opportunities to grow, both personally and professionally. So ‘KOM UIT UW KOT” and strengthen your network in the world of hospitality.

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