To make it big in the sports industry, you can ask anybody who has felt that success how they did it. Their answer? Almost always, “I knew the right person.” Knowing the right person is key, but what sports networking event is the right one for you? Here is my own list of the Top 5 Sports Networking Events in the nation to attend.
Top 5 Sports Networking Events To Attend In 2012
The Sports Industry Networking and Career Conference is arguably the best networking event in the country. The two day convention style event is full of opportunity. The number of well known faces and names is astounding compared to other events.
There is also a very large number of top executives that attend the even both as speakers and as registered attendees for you to meet. Who knows, maybe you can meet your future boss? However there are two downfalls to this event. The first is that there is a cost to attend the event and you must register ahead of time. The second is that there is a “business/professional” dress code you must obey to be let into the event. However, if you want to succeed in the sports industry, those aren’t such bad downfalls at all.
Hosted by Lewis Howes and Sports Networker, this event really took off from the get go. Lewis Howes has established himself as one of, if not THE, top networking professional in the sports industry. These sports networking events have been held at both public and private venues and the people flock in masses! Sports Networker has had some big names stop by these networking events such as the founder of ESPN, Bill Rasmussen.
Some negative things are that you may not always get to order dinner because you may get caught up talking and you won’t get to talk to everybody that shows up. The other downfall is they aren’t always open to the public so some are very exclusive events such as their 2010 Los Angeles event. The positive? The amount of people that show, and who shows. Networking possibilities here are amazing if you take advantage of the opportunity. Oh, and they also have the largest Sports Industry Networking group on LinkedIn. The normal age group of attendees is post college. But that’s not saying college students aren’t allowed.
These sports networking events are very casual, low key, and personal. Which is why it is so high on the list. The Business of Sports holds networking events all of the country and they are almost always at a local bar or restaurant to present a very personable atmosphere. The positives of these events greatly outweigh the negatives.
They are usually a crowd that is out of college and in the sports biz field. The only negatives I can come up with are that because they are usually low key and anyone is welcome, sometimes people show up that may not be to sports biz knowledgeable. But hey, that happens at any event. The positives here are it’s free, they don’t allow resumes so this cuts out the interview feeling for people, and it is non stop socializing. *Plus you can grab a beer and food
The Sports, Events, Marketing and Entertainment Conference is one of the largest sports career and networking conferences in the world. It would be ranked higher on this list if it didn’t run you roughly $300 to attend. They have a jam packed agenda from morning to dark the two days that the conference runs. If you are there to really learn and listen to some great guest speakers, that is the place to be. Check out last years agenda here. With some great content and life lessons learned at this conference, it doesn’t stand up and meet the power of real networking as the previous 3 networking events has. If you have the money, I recommend checking it out for yourself, but on a networking basis and really getting to know people well, it is pretty concrete at number three on this list.
These sports networking groups and events are new as of 2011 and are tailored to college students, but not restricted to only college students. With these groups popping up on college campuses nationwide such as UCLA, Auburn, University of Oregon, and Louisiana, they offer a rare opportunity to create a networking group at any college in the country at any time if requested because of an awesome internship opportunity. they offer college students.
These events are free, happen at least once a month in each city with a group, always during happy hour, and caters to a college kids budget with often times having free appetizers. They also offer scholarship opportunities, internship opportunities and exclusive job opportunities at each event along with socializing with sports pros over beer and appetizers. The downfall about these events however are the size and number of major executives in sports that come to these events currently. Sure they will grow with time, but right now it simply doesn’t compare to the top 4 networking events on this list. Anywhere from 5-50 people will show up and they are usually half college students and half local sports business people, but this really gives an opportunity for the college kids to make some contacts.
Although many peoples lists may look different than the one here, the main thing to understand is the importance of networking in sports. To get hired, somebody has to know who you are. With the amount of scrutiny and how much sports are under the public eye and in the media, trusting your employees is a must. So whatever event you pick, big or small, you are picking the right one. Why? Because you are making an effort to better yourself and get your name out there while making a few friends along the way.
What are some other sports networking events that you’ve been to that have benefitted your career? Leave a comment below or tweet us your favorite events!