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Be professional at events – even the super fun ones.

I was getting ready for my first in-person networking event since COVID.  I was wearing a super sassy outfit, having a great hair day and sporting a fabulous new jewelry purchase.  I was on point.

Feeling good and feeling confident.

I arrived at the venue and strutted into the registration area to check in before heading to the rooftop, right behind a lovely young woman – maybe early 30s?

The guy working the desk introduced himself to Her. I stuck my hand out to introduce myself and he barely looked at me, could barely contain his look of revulsion (OK, I made that part up) limply shook my hand, said “hi,” then turned back to Her.

She was looking at her phone noting she couldn’t find her ticket to which he replied to go on in since she looked “trustworthy.” I pulled out my paper ticket (you heard me!) and said I have mine. I was ignored.

She then took her mask off and he oozed “C’mon, now. I’m trying to work here (ARE YOU?)  and now  you’re distracting me.”

I was still standing there by myself, awkwardly. I took my mask off, crossed my name off the also-ignored registration list and grabbed my own drink tickets. Only one was included in the ticket price, but screw that, I took four. Ha! I’ll show them!

I went upstairs and strolled around the place. I admit my networking skills felt rusty, but I looked for a group of two or so to jump in on a conversation.  Nothing presented itself, but I did spot a woman about my age standing alone so I approached her and introduced myself.

I commented that her name seemed familiar and wondered aloud if we’d met before. She said, “maybe” because she “went to a lot of events.”  I then asked what brought her to this one, and she said “I go to a lot of these events.”  Okay…..

I said nice to meet you and went to ostensibly refill my already full beverage.

At this point I was deflated and frustrated and ready to leave but decided to give it one more try.

I walked around and found two gentlemen whose name tags read they were from the same company.  I walked up and joked that they were supposed to meet new people, not each other and introduced myself.  We ended up having a splendid conversation.

I met many new, kind and engaging people and had many delightful conversations. I ended up with several new contacts and leads and am currently working on a proposal for one of them.  It was one of the better networking events I’d been to in years.

When mulling over whether to write about this I was trying to decide why I was writing it, whether it was to offer a marketing tip of some sort or just to vent. I think a bit of both.

So here are the tips. Not exactly deep and thought provoking, but there they are:

Marketing take-aways

  1. Don’t let others dim your sparkle.
  2. Make sure to hire someone who can act professionally at event registration/check in.

BTW – During the raffle Front Door Guy gave me a winky face and pointed at me with toodle-loo fingers from the stage.  WTF was THAT?

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