Sarah's First Networking Event

Networking, that not the word associated with "Suits" of the financial world? How antiquated is this process? In today's cell phone era, where everyone has their head down texting, making sure not to make eye contact, being social seems foreign.  How does one go about starting a conversation? One on one conversation is sooooo yester-year!  What happens if no one talks, silence is awkward, what do we do, smile? Wait, one can always fall back using the cell phone trick, pretend to be on the cell or to start texting.

Sarah Wyse, a company benefit representative invited us to their first "Networking" event. My husband reminded me, "people don't "network" anymore, or do they?" Sarah called and advised that would be fun. "It is a great way to meet other people and there will be food!" 

On the event date, my husband and I attended. As we entered the room, my husband saw a client of his, immediately he turns on his "Networking" mode, after all, he is in sales, need I say more? I, on the other hand, am apprehensive. I went to grab some food and sat at a table where two gentlemen, Daryl Jagroop and Ben Hum, were engaged in deep conversation. Do I chime in or sit and eat? I decided on the latter.

A few minutes later, my husband came to the table and Ben asked what my husband does for a living, and then the conversation flowed. First they started chatting and then I became a part of the conversation. I advised them that I was a writer, a blogger to be exact, Daryl showed much interest and this is the art of networking.
Sarah and her team strategize a format where we are divided into groups to meet new people. I had a wonderful conversation with Marissa Vaughan, sales representative with Heritage Education Funds. Marissa and I were both in the corporate world for numerous decades in our previous careers. I felt a connection instantly, hope Marissa felt the same. Daryl and I already plan to meet up at a later date to continue our discussion. I also met Winnie Fung, marketing executive for food and food chains. How can I not be intrigued?

To end the event, Sarah invited the VP of Loblaws to address the group. It may or may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there is one thing I know for sure, Sarah had put in a lot of time and effort to invite Paul, VP of Loblaws to attend. For this, Sarah is to be commended for all her hard work and dedication.

Now that we have a taste of the "Networking" process, many are anticipating the next event, which is scheduled for January 2011. Maybe we should spread the word, can networking be the next buzz? Good job Sarah, two thumbs up for a great event and look forward to your second in the new year.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jean,

    I truly appreciate your write up of the event. You are right. I did have in mind to foster a kind of networking that comes through a give-and-take human connection rather than instill fear in those who dare to attend.
    From the feedback I got so far, I think we are moving in the right direction. It was a lot work, but being able, in some ways, to add value to my small business and entrepeneur clients was so rewarding. I look forward to working on our next one in January 2011! Thanks again Jean.

    Sarah Wyse