Bruschetta. Layered dip. Gourmet crackers. Poppy seed & almond and “B52” miniature cupcakes. No host bar for drinks if you wanted them. Great food available if the munchies weren’t enough. A bunch of people who want to do business with you and who want to let their connections know what you do so that they can do business with you.
All this and more was present at tonight’s $5 at 5PM event, hosted by the Portland Small Business Network, at the Chameleon in Portland’s Hollywood District tonight.
We had some new folks and we had some regulars. Lots of photos will be popping up on Facebook since we had two professional photographers at the event. We were a large enough group to have some real diversity in professions and a small enough group to really be able to get to know each other. Some real connections were made as were some appointments for later 1:1 meetings. All in just a few hours at a great venue.
Could your business benefit from this kind of exposure? My guess, if you are in the B2B world, is that the answer to that question is “yes.” And since many of our business visitors tonight also sell to consumers, there were lots of B2C opportunities as well.
Networking can be hard work. Or it can be fun. Or it can be a combination of both. It’s a chance for you to get outside your normal comfort zone if you don’t do it very often and a chance to nurture relationships if you do. It costs very little, except for your time investment, and it can pay big dividends.
There’s really nothing else like networking to establish relationships with people who you know, like and trust. And those are three key elements to doing business with each other and referring each other to our extended circles of contacts.
If you weren’t with us tonight I think you missed a great opportunity. We’re going to do it again in another month and the date, time and location will be posted on my calendar so please do join us for the next one.
Comments, as always, are welcome.