Networking isn’t a new topic, yet it’s an important one. While networking using social media, websites, and other digital means can be beneficial, there is no true ability to connect with someone until you meet them face-to-face. Almost 50% of people with cellphones use them as their primary access to the internet — they post to sites, send emails, surf the web, and more. This form of networking is mostly digital and thus restrictive. Events for networking are great places to meet other people who are just as interested in creating professional relationships as you are. There are an infinite number of reasons to network at social events, but here are four. Like-minded people When you’re on your phone or some social media site trying to make connections, your search is too broad. Attending networking events where everyone attending is a part of your industry or in your field narrows your search to what you actually want. Staying informed Yes, getting a ping to your phone every time a news story breaks is one way to stay up to date, although not the only way. When you attend networking function with people in your industry, you are almost guaranteed to talk about the latest and greatest happenings in your field. This provides an opportunity for you to stay up-to-date with what other people are doing in the industry. Brainstorming Even though the intention isn’t to brainstorm, you can still end up generating a lot of good ideas when you talk to your colleagues and peers. There’s also usually a guest speaker of some sort, or a presentation, which can provide excellent learning opportunities. You might find out that Inspiration If you’re convinced that you don’t need to network at social functions, then you should still attend for the sole purpose of inspiration. Hearing what others are doing, about their success and failures, can ultimately be the tool you need to do make your own strides. Motivation is key in any industry and sometimes it begins to fade away. Attending a social event with your peers can be just what you need. Networking is important, and doing it solely one way or another can limit your success. Being able to work off the screen as well as you do on the screen is the best way to build relationships that can last a lifetime.