Good business relationships help make the world go round. The relationships you build as you progress through your career are as important as the friends you make when you first start school. These relationships determine your happiness and success in the workplace and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Nor should they be developed purely for personal gain. Motorsport is a small world and chances are, you will meet the same people again and again throughout your career.
Relationships are about trust and successful business relationships thrive when there is something in it for everyone. Even if you are just starting out in the industry, it’s important to show people what you bring to the table. If you’re lacking in skills or experience, positivity and an eagerness to learn will be your greatest attributes.
But how can you network with influencers from the world of motorsport? How will networking improve your career opportunities? Read on for our tips for networking your way to the top…
Motorsport Networking Tips
Over the last two years networking events have become almost extinct so we’ve had to come up with other ways to meet people and keep in touch with our business contacts. During the height of the pandemic, LinkedIn saw a huge increase in members and activity. Zoom meetings, Teams chats and other virtual services helped to keep the business world connected. Where we favoured face-to-face meetings, we now think nothing of hopping on a video call. This has opened the business world even further. It’s now become the norm to communicate at a distance and networking opportunities are everywhere.
Virtual Motorsport Events
Virtual events and webinars are a great way to start networking without having to travel or throw yourself in at the deep end and have real life conversations. The more of these events you can attend as a fly on the wall the more you can build your confidence when you start attending events in person.
The number of virtual motorsport events has increased since the pandemic began, and businesses are finding webinars and virtual networking sessions are a great way to expand their reach and network to different countries. LinkedIn is a great way to find events like this. We recently covered networking using social media in another blog.
One of our favourite businesses using virtual meeting platforms is Epartrade, a trade website for parts and services for performance and racing. Their Race Industry Now webinar series is hosted weekly and you’ll see faces from the global world of motorsport discussing a huge range of topics, from logistics to new tech. Past episodes are available to watch too.
Motorsport Networking Events IRL
Networking events aren’t dead. Although we’re still not back to pre-Covid numbers, physical networking events are on the increase. There are also dozens of good virtual events held each year. Here’s a breakdown of our favourite motorsport networking events.
If you’re sick of working from home and prefer to meet people face to face, here are some networking events to attend in person:
The biggest and first event in the motorsport calendar each year, ASI is held at Birmingham’s NEC each year in January. The first two days are trade only so present a great opportunity for motorsport professionals to meet and do business without hoards of families and hobbyists hogging all the seating spaces.
If you’re new to the industry this is great even to find new business contacts. Go through the exhibition map and work out the stands you want to see. Either contact their team in advance or swing by their stand and introduce yourself!
Run by the Motorsport Industry Association, this event is a great opportunity to gain insights from guest speakers and develop your motorsport contacts. Free to attend, the next forum is 11th May.
Held in London, the Blackbook Forum is for motorsport professionals only as the biggest names in motorsport meet to discuss business strategies and change management. If you’re attending as a newcomer to the industry and intend on networking like a pro, make sure you know you know your stuff or remember why you have two ears but only one mouth.
Previous speakers include CMO of NASCAR, Jill Gregory and MotoGP Sporting Director Carlos Ezpeleta Gonzalez. Head to the website to find out more.
MotorsportDays LIVE – 4-5th November. Another event run by Motorsport Network, MsD is a great motorsport industry trade event.
Organised with networking in mind, this event is the perfect mix of commercial and on-track motorsport. Whether you’re looking to develop relationships with suppliers or teams, championships or just like-minded enthusiasts, this great event is free and held at Silverstone (pandemic permitting) each year.
Networking With Confidence
Don’t forget – networking is about talking. We know it’s daunting but if you don’t open your mouth no one will know that you are there. If you want to stand out on the day, make sure you do your research before you get to the event or go online. Research relevant topics and conversation points as well as the people attending. Approach any networking opportunities with confidence. Show that you are keen, ready to learn, ask questions but respect that you are new to the industry and need to keep your ears open more than your mouth.
The motorsport industry is full of people who are happy to share their experiences and knowledge. The networking opportunities are vast and it’s without doubt the best way to develop your motorsport industry connections.