Last week I wrote a post called, "Coffee ... Alone Or Together?" In it I muse on the demise of networking groups and the poosible reasons why. As groups I belong to fall by the wayside, as they shut their doors, one remained going - the NDBA, a local group here in North Devon, England.
I enjoy this group and the social contact it provides. You can imagine my dismay when I received word yesterday evening that it is closing its doors. I do not know why, as yet, but the reason is not of any import. It is closing and our most enjoyable monthly lunches will be no more.
I suspect, having spoken with the two wonderful men who have run the group for several years that it is due to a lack of support. In a rural environment where many of us work alone I am so surprised that business people no longer see the value of getting together once a month. Perhaps it is because they are only interested in meeting potential clients. Perhaps I am alone in seeing the value of a social business network.
I am determined to keep some sort of social business contact going even if only an informal, monthly coffee gathering.
What are your thoughts? Is the era of networking over? And if you think it is, what do you think the reason for its demise is? In this age of overwhelming digital connection do we need to be connected face-to-face? Should we be drinking our coffee alone ... or together?