Yesterday I had the honor of being the emcee for a five chamber networking event called Networking Magic. The premise was a unique twist on a common theme:
Each table had six members and at the sound of the cow bell (my unique addition) they took turns sharing their 30 second commercial.
Here's where it became a special event. Each table had a subject matter expert that came prepared to offer a series of open ended questions based on the topic of that table. Some of the topics were:
â€¢ goal setting
â€¢ business reading material
â€¢ negotiating techniques
â€¢ employee relations
Through the course of the morning participants not only connected with attendees and learned about their products and services but also had a chance to share best practice ideas.
The theme, Networking Magic, lent itself to one more unique twist. Three times during the day we had an Abracadabra moment in which participants sought out someone they wanted to ask more questions of, wanted to schedule a meeting with or offer a lead to.
It was very well received. I was grateful to Lori Howerton, CEO of the Green Chamber, and her committee for asking me to participate and also to be the luncheon speaker. I met a lot of wonderful people.
In preparing for the event I found a book called Networking Magic in which the authors define successful networking as a chance for people to say "I'll help you if you help me."
So often we think of networking as a mad dash to make as many contacts as possible instead of an opportunity to help others. I encouraged the participants to have their listening ears on to see where they might help the other – in the form of a lead or business connection. If we seek to help others it will come back to us many times over.
I witnessed many successful networking magic moments yesterday.
What is your networking secret?