One of the benefits of Chamber membership is the opportunity for business networking. The power of networking cannot be underestimated. Networking is about building and maintaining relationships. It's a personal form of communication that helps people build trust. Networking is a skill.
Amassing business cards isn't networking. Quality is more important than quantity. Direct your networking toward cultivating personal connections. Once you make a new connection, you need to leverage it by following up with the person. The follow up is what creates the connection. Write notes on the back of a business card about your interaction; then use those things to create the follow up.
While social media helps people make connections. it's not a substitute for traditional face-to-face networking. Social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook allow you to connect to hundreds of people and most likely interactions with these connections is limited. The power of networking lies in how well people know you, how much they trust you, how much they gain from having you in their network, and how often you communicate with them.
Networking can happen anywhere. Arranging meetings and workshops, attending seminars and conventions, running conferences and ceremonies, and serving on a board of directors or on a committee are all excellent ways of meeting other industry professionals.
Engaging with people, leaving a great impression, and staying in touch will provide you with future business opportunities.