A stroll through any retail store will remind you that Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching because the displays are already built. Out with Old Saint Nick, in with the hearts, red and pink!
When it comes to networking and building relationships, we must get offline and meet people in person, too. There are countless events you can discover by searching Eventbrite.com, MeetUp.com and Facebook.com/events. If you notice an absence of the type of networking event you most want to attend, treat it as an opportunity.
Create your own event
I encourage you to consider creating your own event. One of the biggest advantages of running your own group is you become a Networking Cupid. Of course, I am not talking about creating romantic relationships, I’m picturing you as the professional master connector! When you run the event, you get to know all attendees and the types of connections they seek.
I learned this first hand as I ran my own events like Nashcocktail and Geek Breakfast. I would provide introductions to make attendees feel welcome and get them meeting new people right away.
In the traditional sense, Cupid is the god of desire. Attendees of networking events aren’t seeking love (or maybe they are), but they do desire new professional relationships. This is where you come in as the organizer of the event. You are the one that provides those valuable introductions.
Start today. Look to see if there are meetups or events about the topics you are most interested in. If not, go to MeetUp.com and create it. You can use Eventbrite to create tickets to your event. I would also promote it on Facebook to help you raise awareness.
Your first event may not draw a huge crowd, but over time you will see the number of attendees grow as they discover it. Actively learn about each person who comes and what they are seeking from attending. This is key to making it a success and making you a Networking Cupid.
Side note: I once organized a meetup that led to two attendees actually falling in love. Nearly a decade later, they are still together! The traditional Cupid would be happy to hear this. So load up your quiver with arrows and get connecting. You never know where those new relationships will lead.
Because of my love of networking, I have launched a new community called Networking For Nice People. Don’t miss my free networking tips email newsletter, tips.networkingfornicepeople.com. You will “love” it.
Dave Delaney is digital marketing consultant, professional speaker, author of “New Business Networking,” and is passionate about professional networking. Don’t be shy; say hi at NetworkingForNicePeople.com.
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