OK, this is the last post on my recent networking experiences. Sorry it has taken so long to finish this.
In addition to the Portland Alliance networking event, I went to two Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) events. The first was an evening event centered around the opening of a new showroom at Pacific Lifestyle Homes and gosh was it a happening party! These folks really know how to have a good time. There must have been hundreds of people there and both the food and the music (live band) were excellent.
Many of the people seemed to know each other but I found plenty of folks that were very interested in talking to me. While I was intently loading up my plate with some delectable morsel. often the person next to me would open up conversation and ask me what I did. Attendees clearly expected to network and did so with ease. I actually got a couple of leads from the party so it was worthwhile.
The second was the Leads East breakfast meeting held at Gustavs. This also is run by the GVCC and is very similar to the leads meeting run by the Portland Alliance. The format is almost identical. I think someone said there was around 80 people there and once again, many of the people knew each other. We each gave our 20 second elevator pitch which took up a good chunk of the overall time. Some folks really have it down pat. Bob the Builder (complete with hard hat) and Dr Shelby stuck in my mind so they must be doing something right. Of course knowing the name is not enough but its a good start. Trust gets built over a period of time so I would say regular attendance is necessary.
As with the other networking event I attended, we were each given a number and then went to the table of the same number where we met with 3-5 other people to learn about their businesses and what leads they were looking for.
To be honest, I’m not sure that going around the room with that many people giving the 20 second pitch is a good use of time. I much prefer the break out groups and if we skipped the round the room thing we would perhaps have time to switch tables and have deeper conversations with additional people.
All of the GVCC networking events have a plethora (I just love that word) of door prizes. The prizes are sponsored by various companies. I won a soup lunch from Simply Thyme Catering which was really good. it was a butternut squash creation with a small fruit salad and a cookie. The soup was yum as was the cookie but I wasn’t so keen on the fruit salad as I think it included some lavender (and perhaps thyme?) which wasn’t to my taste but hey, you can’t please everyone.