Thursday, August 25, 2011

NETS Meeting

Last Thursday I went off to Corpus Christi Church in Aliso Viejo to a NETS meeting to speak about networking. I had a great time at the meeting explaining how recruiters network – which is how we work - and meeting a group of very nice people.

NETS is a good group because it’s not too big, the people get to know each other, and they help each other out. This group is truly committed to one another and helping people transition through their careers. I think if we all participate in a good group similar to NETS, it would open up our networks tremendously.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Networking with Hooter’s Girls?? What??!???

I received an invitation to attend an in person networking meeting with a large group I joined through LinkedIn. One of my work friends, E, also received an invite so we decided to meet there and network as a team. Working a room with two people is easier than one. As I parked in the lot waiting for her to arrive and talking to her via cell, a car parks and out hop the Hooter’s Girls. They grab food out of their trunk and head right into the networking group. I’m narrating the scene as it happens all E had to say was, “Are you serious?” Yes, I was serious. Right away my gut feel was is going to be bad and it was. The event was loud, unorganized, the food was all in one cramped location, and you had to yell to hear anyone.
E also had a few thoughts about the networking event I thought I’d share.

“It was very disorganized. You would think there would be some kind of welcome speech by the organizer with an explanation of the purpose of the gathering and some tips for networking, so that people did not just wander aimlessly. The set up was not conducive to meet and greets – just a mass of people huddled together looking befuddled. Also, there was no rhyme or reason to the broad cross section of industries represented. Perhaps if they set up areas for people with similar industries/interests to meet that would be much better. I just did not get a good vibe there. Zero interest in talking with anyone.
Then of course, you said it all when you commented that based on that experience you will never attend another event by them. Unfortunately, it leaves one with a negative impression of the whole group. Also, one last note – they made us go through the trouble of registering for the event, but then they never checked to see if we were actually registered – i.e. they did not check us in via a list of registrants. Now I get that they just wanted to fill the place up, but not checking names discourages people from taking them seriously when the appearance is that they letting anyone in off the street, and are just collecting business cards to bombard us with some sales pitch for some other nefarious reason.
Of course! Too bad you didn’t take a picture of the mess – it would have been a good visual of what not to do if you want a successful event. A photo of me looking very annoyed would have been good ;-). ”

I do agree with E’s appraisal of the event. This was the second one I’ve attended and I don’t plan on attending third. Lesson learned – sometimes large networking events are a waste of time and you’re better off cultivating the network you already have.