Business Beat

WJR Business Beat: Business Networking Shifts From In Person to Virtual (Episode 332)

On today’s Business Beat, Jeff talks about how more and more networking is taking place online, virtually that is, as opposed to attending conferences or community gatherings, or even by taking in-person meetings.

Tune in to the Business Beat, below, to learn more about virtual relationship building and who is embracing it:

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

Good morning, Paul! Welcome conventional wisdom makes it clear that one key tentative creating success in business is getting out there and pressing the flesh, networking, whether that is part of a sales campaign or to source the best possible vendors and partners for your business or to meet investors. Whatever it may be, there is simply no substitute for getting out there and working it. However, given that COVID is not yet willing to relinquish its grip on us, practically speaking, what are we doing? Certainly, live events of all kinds have not fully returned. Well, more and more networking is taking place online, virtually that is, as opposed to attending conferences or community gatherings, or even by taking in-person meetings. Instead, we’re turning to virtual event attendance and doing our networking in social media communities. There’s even a term of the art now that’s been coined for the activity now referred to as virtual relationship building. The new survey just released by a career networking firm known as Handshake reports that while the concept of doing our networking virtually is a hard one to embrace for older generations, younger generations, specifically Gen Z, are actually welcoming the change and embracing it. They’re doing their networking by leveraging connections on LinkedIn, Twitter and even TikTok. In fact, the report indicates that over two-thirds of those surveyed believed that they don’t need to meet professional connections in person in order to form meaningful relationships with them. And this stunning new reality begs the question: Is this a temporary accommodation or is this the beginning of what might mark the end of networking as we know it? Other key takeaways from the study? Well, Gen Z is more optimistic about building a career network than their parents because of the digital networking we’re doing now. Two, recent graduates of color are even more likely to perceive increased opportunity and equity as a result of digital networking and three, more than 8 of 10 Gen Z job seekers believe that the digital networking they’re doing will lead to more job opportunities. So, there you have it, Paul, another dramatic change forged by this pandemic as people begin to do more of their more pressing of the flesh virtually. I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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