SEEN AND BE SEEN EVENTS
If your company or organization is somewhat engaged in the community (or better yet, really engaged) and if you personally have a pretty good profile and get out to events, then you must not overlook the Seen & Be Seen Events. For example, Richard Branson came to town and everyone in the business community showed up (OK, slight exaggeration but there were 1,200 people for lunch). The CEO of the airport retired and 700 people showed up to that event. When political leaders are on the podium you will get more people out to events, and usually senior people. It would be nice if the world was as egalitarian as we’d like, but the truth is we all want access to senior people. We also all want access to a diverse group of people from many different industries and you’ll typically find them at these kinds of events.
In September, the newly-minted Governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, is speaking at The Vancouver Board of Trade, and it’s the kind of event that will sell out because people are interested in the speaker, plus they also know others will be as well. This will be an opportunity to reconnect with high-level people, those individuals who it may be difficult to connect with any other way.
The truth is that attending this kind of event is not as effective if you haven’t built a strong network. You won’t be reconnecting to your network (relationships that you have built up over time), and may not have a network to introduce you to new people. But don’t let that stop you from buying a ticket. You have no idea who you might meet and there will be interesting people there—guaranteed.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS PEOPLE, LOTS OF THEM
As Reid Hoffman says in “Connect to Human Networks to Find Breakout Opportunities”, “Opportunities do not float like clouds. They are firmly attached to individuals. If you’re looking for an opportunity, you’re really looking for people.” And to our point about attending the big networking events in your community where you can meet lots of people, Hoffman states what we often forget. It’s not a company that will give you an order or will hire your consulting services. “A company doesn’t offer you a job, people do. Opportunities flow through congregations of people.
WHAT IF YOU AREN’T ENGAGED?
What if these Seen & Be Seen Events seem way out of your comfort zone? Then begin by going to smaller events and going frequently. You’ll build your network and your confidence. Then, take it to the next step and attend a Seen & Be Seen Event. Read our “7 Secrets of Positive Networking ®”, a free downloadable book from Shepa Learning Company to become a better networker.