There is networking and then there is networking. Have you ever met a networking diva? October 10TH 5:00 PM Write it down.

September 27, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  It’s all about networking , ya gotta get out there and network; show the flag, press some flesh – let them know that you’re in the game and you’ve got things, stuff and ideas that will make their business a couple of cuts above the others.  Right?

Networking at its very best in the nicest venue in town.

That’s the current folk-lore and there are some people who really do this well.  When you meet them at an event you remember them because of the way they tell their story.  There are those sad sacks that show up looking a little worse for wear and tell you they forgot their business cards but if you know someone looking for a good collection agent – would you pass their name along?

James Burchill with one of his regular networkers.

Then there are those sharp young things that drive up in an SUV, glance in the mirror and fluff their hair, put on a fresh coat of lipstick and wiggle out of their jeans and into a very stylish skirt, arrange a bright scarf around their neck, check the blouse button levels and walk into the place where the hounds are hanging out – and they make it happen.  They’re not on the make – they’re networking and they make the contacts and they follow-up.

Monthly networking event is held at the Ivy Bar and Kitchen.

A business card will get the conversation started but it’s sometimes difficult to tell your story with just a business card.  James Burchill runs a MeetUp in Burlington every month.  He started out at the Beaver and the Bullfrog, outgrew that venue and is now  at the Ivy Bar and Kitchen where he hosts a couple of hundred people the third Wednesday of the month.  He has an email set up where he gets the word out and consists of a list of who has said they will attend.  If there is someone you want to meet – you’ll know if they plan to attend. You can check this out  

Burchill took the event he hosts a couple of steps further and rents out the smartest space in town – the Family Room at the Performing Arts Centre where he can bring together pretty close to 800 people without feeling packed in.  That’s a networking event.

The “value added” as Burchill likes to put it, is he space people can rent to set up tables and display what they have to offer.  Jamie Buisman, a local photographer, sets up her camera and does some work right on the spot; pretty good way to find out if the fit and feel is right with a photographer.

Ivy Bar and Kitchen set out a couple of tables with nibbles to satisfy that peckish feeling.  Neat way to get an idea what they have to offer.

You can get a table for a couple of hundred bucks – say $350 all in.  With 500 people showing up that 500  impressions which works out to a little over 60 cents an impression – not a lot more than a fancy business card.  That is getting value for those marketing dollars.  Some of the smaller operations have taken to sharing a table.

 In the advertising world the line goes that half of the advertising you run works for you – the trick is to figure out which half.  At the Social Fusion Networking Group every dollar works.  Burchill by the ways runs these events in a number of communities – so if there is some other part of the province that interests you – chat him up.

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