I understand why people call it that, but I don’t like how impersonal that term is. Yes, when I go to networking events, I’ll talk to you for a few minutes about what you do, where you work, etc. But I’m also the guy who wants to actually get to know a little more about you. Where are you from originally? What brought you to Denver? What kind of music are you into? Because I know that I don’t remember people I meet for their job title. I remember people for who they are, what they’re passionate about, how they see the world.
Yes, the point is to make a “professional connection,” but I think that making a personal connection with someone is 1) not only more enjoyable, but 2) will be far more likely to turn into a connection that might help get you a job one day, or a new client, or freelance work. It took me a few of these types of events to get over my own self-consciousness, but now I love going to networking events. Not because I’m so eager to meet someone who can help my career but because I’m eager to meet people.
Everyone you meet has their own interesting story or fascinating things about them. It just takes getting past the networking small talk to find it.