I have been spending a lot of time at various networking events and seminars in the past couple of weeks. While I am usually always looking to get out and meet and greet, I do like hearing from people who do things completely separate from what I do for a living and I also like to hear from people who are in my same career path — social media and writing.
It doesnt’ matter how many sessions I sit in on regarding social media, I always walk away learning something new or hearing about a different technology or a way of doing the same task I’m doing just with a new perspective.
I’ve also been sitting in on sessions — and yes sometimes eavesdropping — and hearing the professionals talk about how having a mentor or signing up for a leadership seminar has helped them propel their careers forward. Mentors, they say, open your eyes to a new point of view, help you hone your target clientele and simply help you get outside of yourself and see where you may be stumped and need that new perspective to continue to grow.
Some of the networking events I attend are heavy on handing out business cards, shaking hands and making your elevator pitch. Even those events that don’t particularly state that as their purpose are still opportunities to shake hands, meet someone new and connect to a potential business partner. My advice to anyone who attends a seminar or event — be open to talking to someone new; don’t try to sell me something the first minute I meet you; follow up once the meeting is over. Strike while the iron is hot — you never know where you’ll end up!