Have you ever walked into a room full of strangers for a supposed business networking event and stood in the corner for an hour, sipping a drink, and then left without meeting anyone new?
Yea, me too. Far too freaking often.
Which is why I hate traditional networking events. But I understand their purpose and I understand why some people like them.
1. These networking events are an easy way to get our community together without tons of work or effort on anyone's part.
2. The low or no cost model incentivizes people to come without a high investment of time or money (which can increase volume of guests, but not necessarily quality...I'll get to that later)
Why this Boss Lady Happy Hour (taking place tomorrow night) will be different
Because it's all about two things:
1. Community mindset
The community that attends these Boss Lady Happy Hours is one of acceptance, inclusion, promoting each other over competing with each other. That's the mission of Boss Ladies in general, and so I'm really hoping that in 2016 we can expand on this and grow bigger than before.
2. Introductions over elevator pitches
Want to know my BEST piece of advice when it comes to attending this happy hour (or any networking event?
Make MORE introductions than you have conversations.
Which sounds really counter intuitive, but think about it.
What will get someone out of their house, out of their sweats and away from the season premier of Scandal, to come to your event?
If you've been around here for any length of time, the answer is THE SPEAKER and THE NETWORK.
If you can guarantee your attendees will meet at least one new person that you handpick to connect them with? Then you've already surpassed any other event that I've ever been to. Because that's what people want and that's what they're hoping to get out of events; new, better connections.
Even if you think that you'll lose your audience because you won't do any of your own "elevator pitching", there's nothing better for you as an event host and event facilitator than providing value in the form of a connection. That is the HOLY GRAIL of value to be attained at an event.
And if that relationship takes off (business or friendship), each party will always remember that you introduced them and that they met at YOUR event.
So, be sure you're thinking about how you can connect the person you're talking to and how you can help them the most. It will pay you back ten fold.