Networking Events used to make me feel oogy. In fact.. not just attending networking events, but hearing the word "networking" would immediately make my lip curl and anxiety levels rise.
But that is because somewhere along the way I got some bad information. Or maybe just the wrong idea. Actually, I'm not sure where I came up with this notion but I used to think the point of a networking event was to put my business card into as many people's hands as possible. The End.
And as you can imagine it was not pretty. Because y'all know I'm not shy. And let me tell you, if there had been a networking trophy I would have come home with a big one. As I remember there were several networking events that no one escaped without my digits.
But I felt so creepy.
And I'm pretty sure no one called me afterwards.
Why would they? They didn't know a thing about me or the people I served.
Friends do business with friends and I was just a blur who shoved a card in their hand.
Thankfully, for me and my fellow networkers, a few years ago I figured out making business cards rain is a waste of everyone's time.
In Miami, there are so many networking events available to me and instead of trying to make sure everyone leaves with my phone number I should have been utilizing the time to meet friends.
I realized that leaving an event after getting to know a few people was way more fun and definitely more effective than making sure everybody left with my card.
I developed a plan for all of the networking events that I attend and now I never feel "oogy" and I really have made some new friends and customers. I shared my Networking Event Friend Strategy in this video.
I created a list of 13 monthly (and a few weekly!) networking events currently happening in Miami Dade, complete with descriptions and website links. There is something for everyone! What do you have to lose? Go for it! Remember, focus on meeting new friends and you won't feel oogy!