Lucy Kellaway wrote in yesterdays FT that she was not attending Davos this week despite that fact that her profile is high enough to be invited!
Davos is the winter get together in Switzerland where you can meet the great and the good and enjoy some skiing.
She tells the story of a successful businessman who at 60 has decided that networking was a waste of time. Nothing positive had happened from all the events he had attended in the past, what he liked was the ego boost of seeing and been seen and over time his ego no longer needed tickling by glad handing over warm white wine and canapes.
Kellerway goes on to say that the point of networking is to meet someone more important than you are. But if everything goes to a party to network, the whole exercise becomes self-defeating.
Whilst I agree that groups such as Ryze, Tribe, Ecademy and Spoke are only going to make money for the founders who are selling the snake oil of importance, power and connectivity. These are networks that seem to work on a numbers basis that grow buy getting as many as possible to join because the life span of members is limited.
However the point of Davos is that it is an invitation event that therefore controls the quality of those attending. This means that for those of us in business Davos is good, for a journalist on the FT yes its limited because she can get to see almost anyone. I will be going to Davos hopefully I well meat some more interesting people, it might not result in business quickly but it does help with introductions for people who don't have a brand name employer. My advice is just do not sell what you do be interesting and then others will ask your help opinion and realise that your time has an economic value.