So yesterday, I attended my first speed networking event for the DC Chamber event. It was a decent meeting. What I was surprise was the age group varied from young adult, middle age, to the upper age group. It struck me on two things: 1) I need to go to more DC Chamber events and should of been a member, and 2) It was an effective event, depending who you are looking for. I got some progress, but I wouldn’t expect this event would help me long-term since most of the companies were in printing, marketing, carpeting, etc. It might be correlated, but you’re not sure if they are going to assist you.
However, this leads me to something that I haven’t thought about but makes perfect sense: networking = dating. There are many similarities between dating and networking:
- You’re there to find a connection, and a trust to someone or a group.
- You’re selling yourself.
- You pick up numbers.
- Carry a blackbook or Blackberry to organize thoughts
- You go on a second “session.”
- An agreement (depending on the situation and you know what I’m talking about).
- The honeymoon period.
- The collaboration.
- The conflict.
- At some point, separation.
- Finally, the final decision (In my case, annulment).
So, when you’re at a networking event, be on a hunt like a person finding a date and find something that attracts you. Of course, no cheesy pick-up lines and don’t jump out too quickly, take it slowly to see if there is a connection.
There are two things I learned from this event:
- It’s great to dress up for an event at the fancy University Club in DC. I wouldn’t try wearing a shoulder strap dress that you were going clubbing that night. I’ll be honest, I took my first sip of water when she came by. Also, the room was hot… Unfair.
- On either a networking event or on a potential date (I have none): I’m very selective.
We’re back in 2 and 2.