The Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau puts on a mixer every month providing our partners plenty of opportunity for networking and meeting new people. It’s time to start taking advantage of these “golden opportunities” and many other opportunities that cross your path every day. Networking doesn’t have to be a daunting task or something you fear. Go ahead. Add networking to your list of New Year Resolutions. You may just start to enjoy it.
Stop thinking about it as networking, instead imagine networking as something you do 24 hours a day, when it suits you. That’s the key. If you’re in a bar or at a conference or in a lounge, and you're talking to someone new, throw in a question that actually leads somewhere, instead of the typical banter that doesn’t. When you’re on a plane, roll your eyes about the delay to the person next to you and strike up a conversation.
In the end, connections don’t come from specific “networking” events; they come from just living your life - talking to the people you’re fortunate enough to interact with. So actually talk to all of these people (there are tons of them out there, we just don’t see 99% of them) and LISTEN. We spend most of our time listening just to find an opening so we can talk again. Don’t do that. Listen and process – what did they just say, and how can you figure out a way to relate that to something to which you’re passionate about? And go from there. Some conversations will be nothing more than ways to kill time, and that’s fine too. But others might be the start of something truly awesome. Either way, you won’t know if you don’t make the attempt.