Whether we want to admit it or not, networking is an important part of getting things done. It doesn’t matter if you work for yourself or for someone else. You need the help of others.
And how exactly do you find these other people? Currently, the equation looks like this:
invite everyone you know + free booze + name tags
Let’s break this down.
In theory, this is a good place to start since networking has always been a numbers game. The more people around you, the higher the likelihood you’ll find the one person you need. However, more and more people are pitching and relying on the concept of “serendipitous collisions,” or the idea that two people can meet for no other reason then to impact each other’s lives in a happy or beneficial way. This sounds amazing, but why rely on chance for this meeting to happen?
Alcohol also makes sense since a little social lubrication can help break through the initial awkwardness. If you’re not careful, this can be a slippery slope. Go to enough networking events and you start to see a trend. There are people there busting their asses looking for actual help, and then you have the people who are only there for the free booze.
In general, name tags are a good idea because there is no sweeter sound to someone else than their own name. The only potential issue is when other “features” are added, like how many times you’ve been there in the past or who you’re representing. These extra details can actually isolate attendees and add to the preexisting awkwardness.
Being someone who doesn’t like complaining without proposing a solution, I do have an answer to this outdated form of networking. It’s called a Collide Event.
Since deciding to pursue my company Metamo a few months ago, I have already learned so much in terms of connecting people. Instead of relying on serendipitous collisions or blind luck, I have decided to connect people using shared ideas, complementary skills, and actionable next steps.
When you come to a Collide Event, you’ll find:
Quality over quantity
Instead of wasting time with endless handshakes and countless business cards, your time will be spent on better things like sharing and pursuing your actual idea. That’s why attendees will be organized into categories based on their roles and skills.
Since attendees are organized upfront before the event, you can be sure to find the skills you need in order to make your ideas happen. You will be sent the general breakdown of skills before the event. This way, you’re only spending your valuable time looking for the skills you need.
How many times have you walked away from an event feeling more discouraged than before? Whether you work on your idea or not, you will connect with people who can help you in the future. We make sure to optimize this possibility by following up after with attendees and connecting any dots that may have been left undiscovered.
Here’s how it works:
Tell us about yourself
All you have to do is tell us what you do, what you’re good at, an idea you want to pursue, and the skills you need. After that, you’re all set!
Receive a breakdown
We use the information you give us to make the event more productive. Once we have everyone’s info, we’ll send you a breakdown of the ideas and skills that will be there
Come work with others
On the night of the event, show up ready to meet others and get down to work. You’ll form interdisciplinary teams with others based around the ideas that have been submitted.
Choose to take action
Once the event is over, you decided whether or not you want pursue the idea together. Either way, you’ve met others with skills that could possibly help you in the future.
Sounds like something you may want to check out? You’re in luck.
Our first Collide Event is on Tuesday, October 4 from 5–7pm at TechArtista CWE as part of St. Louis Design Week. If you’re going to be in the area, you can signup here: http://www.gometamo.com/collide-events
Are you looking for a new way to network? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the format of Collide Events. You can leave a comment below, reach me on Twitter at @williamfrazr, or shoot me a message at email@example.com
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