This Valentine’s Day, we wanted to share our love of networking. Time after time, our members and event attendees comment on the excellent networking opportunities that the World 100 Reputation Network provides, and we feel like we are expert facilitators when it comes to growing connections between Higher Education Reputation leaders.

But why is networking so beneficial and how can it help? Well, we could list a dozen reasons why, but really, all the benefits can be grouped together into 2 main areas:

1. Growing your connections

We’ll start with the most obvious first. The more networking you do, the more people you meet, thus the bigger your pool of connections. But don’t forget about the people you already know. By spending time with people at multiple events, you get to know them better and your connections grow stronger. This could lead to smaller one-on-one networking opportunities and open the door to more possibilities. For example, growing your personal connections could strengthen your university’s connections; it could open the door to a new international partnership and grow your reputation around the world.

By increasing exposure of your university and the things you are doing to help that institution grow, you are not only increasing your own credibility, you are raising the profile of your university with global peers.

2. Sharing ideas with like-minded people

At the World 100, we encourage our members to interact and share experiences and best practice. By doing so you are achieving a number of things.

A. Gaining validation that your university is doing the right things – Sometimes working in isolation (or team isolation) can be a lonely place, and results aren’t always instant. But by sharing practices and experiences with like-minded people in the same position, you can gain the validation that what you are doing is right and that results will eventually come.

B. Reassuring yourself that everyone faces challenges – everyone faces challenges in their day to day work and it really helps to know that you aren’t alone in dealing with them. That’s where networking comes in. Not only can you gain some reassurance, but you can also learn from others about how they overcome their issues. So, whether your social media campaign returned poor results or getting survey completions from staff is like pulling teeth, there will be others that have been through it and come out the other side.

C. Getting ideas and gaining a fresh perspective – Although we’re all working towards the same goal and all have similar roles, everyone has unique ideas, thinking of things you might never have thought of. By having discussions with peers in relaxed environments, these light bulb moments can be shared (and stolen) as well as inspiring your own ideas on how to drive results.

Other people can be beacons of light. It’s not always just about sharing ideas but also by helping you look at things in a different way. Sometimes being so close to a situation can cloud your judgement and make you feel downhearted. By networking with people in a similar position to yourself, you can get a fresh pair of eyes and find a new angle to approach things from. For example,  you may have received some disheartening results from a recent survey and feel dejected but, by networking and sharing this with peers, you may realize that, actually, the results aren’t as bad as you think and that they can be turned into a positive.  

D. Expanding your knowledge pool – Likewise, other people may simply know things you don’t. It could be how to do something that’s been vexing you and your team; knowing someone who may be able to help; or recommending a company, service or platform that can help you achieve your KPIs.

The key networking opportunity that membership of the W100 Network provides is our Annual Conference, hosted each year by a leading world university. It has become the key event in the global higher education calendar for engaging around new thinking in reputation.

Another example of networking is our Tracker Symposium. Once a year, members of our UK Reputation Tracker come to a symposium to hear from member universities about how they are using the tracking tool and what they’ve achieved. The event also offers group discussions and dedicated networking time for members to interact on a personal level and discuss methods and share tips for getting the most out of the tracker data as well as what their department is doing to boost reputation.

If you want to benefit from the networking opportunities that the World 100 Network offers, become a member or come along to one of our events.