I’ve been slowly learning how to network. I’ve been using Facebook, Twitter, and had a great time at a women’s writing conference.
Today, I got my first introduction to speed networking. It’s similar to speed dating. It involves having a very limited amount of time to get to know someone. After a few minutes, someone or something signals it’s time to get to the next person. ( I might give speed dating a try if I was single, but I haven’t been available since 1972).
The owner of a newspaper I write for was sponsoring this event, so I figured I ought to check it out. To say I was reluctant to do this is an understatement. The first thing I usually consider is “Am I going to be the oldest one there?” I’ve been considering this for a couple of years now. Sometimes it’s true.
I could just imagine myself among a lot of young men with fancy jobs and business cards. I wondered how many women would attend.
Getting myself in my car was the hardest part for me. I set my GPS and off I went. I was relieved when I got out of the car, and received a big welcome from a gentleman at the door.
I went in, found the owner and asked him why he wanted me to come.”Why not?,” he answered.
As it turns out, he was right. I did get some leads for stories. It’s a good thing I’m a naturally friendly person. Once I got going, I was exchanging cards with people and talking a mile a minute.
We got in an inner and outer circle. A man would tell us to move after 2 or 3 minutes. Word to the wise―don’t get next to someone who won’t follow the rules! Some people will only move when they’re good and ready. It was amazing how much trouble we all had moving to the right.
We ended the event with a nice lunch and an interesting speaker. (I might add there were three times as many men as women, and many of us sat together.)
My point is: don’t be afraid to try new things. It might not be what we’re used to, but that doesn’t make it a bad thing.
Facebook, tweet, link in, and go out and meet people.You don’t know unless you try.
If you have any novel ideas for me, let me know!
Comment on your experiences networking.