I find some networking events annoying and possibly traumatic…. Big statement, and maybe a little overstated – but there is a lot of truth in it. Often the thought of attending a networking event, meeting new people, juggling nibbles and business cards just really doesn’t appeal to me…. Throughout my career, I’ve found the term ‘business mixers’ are often just a code name for getting ‘sold to’ in a social environment.
Certainly, as a much younger woman, working in an industry which was primarily male dominated, I found business mixers and networking events to be an interesting experience… I often dreaded heading off to business events on my own.
Enter Business Chicks networking events. Business Chicks is a community for women whose goal is to be the tool in your career that you’d never consider putting down. What attracted me to Business Chicks initially wasn’t the name – it was the fact that they actually run events in Canberra!
Business Networking with a twist
Business Chicks introduced their “Networking Evenings” to Canberra in October. At a Business Chicks networking event, women can network with other women (and men) but these events have a couple of really unique twists:
- You don’t hand your business card to everyone you meet… The Business Chick team encourage you to share your passions, things that drive you and not just “business” stuff with the people you meet and only exchange business cards if you find common ground
- Don’t ask “what do you do”, find out about the person behind the business card
- “Speed Networking”… you get 6 minutes to talk to a new person and then move on. 6 minutes may not seem very long – but it’s long enough to work out if you would like to connect further with this person – that’s when you exchange business cards
- “Mystery Connection” – when you sign in for the evening, you get some one’s name. Your mission is to find that person during the evening and connect with them.
Business Chicks networking rocks…
This was my second networking event with Business Chicks and I enjoyed it a lot. Not having to juggle business cards and actually think about a different approach in your introduction, makes a big difference.
I also take my 16 year old daughter, who is also my office admin, along. I believe that the experience she receives from meeting new people and talking about her passions, interests and what not is a great way for her to develop her skills.
A big thanks to Bec, Rachel and the people at ServCorp for hosting the event in the offices at Hotel Realm, Barton… an excellent venue.