Have you ever leaped out of bed in the middle of the night with an idea that excited you so much you couldn’t sleep? Well that is exactly what happened to me about 30 minutes ago. Tonight I attended yet another networking event at a bar and mixed and mingled after hours with a bunch of industry professionals. I spent about 2 hours (3 hrs. with the commute) after work doing this and walked away with about 10 business cards and connections.
With the technology driven world and our busy schedules, I kept pondering to myself, there has GOT to be a more efficient way to meet people out there! I really don’t want to spend all my evenings at networking events and away from my friends, family, gym, etc.
So as I was sleeping tonight my mind processed this thought and at 4:30am sharp I leaped out of bed with an idea… NETWORK VIA CONFERENCE CALL. Would it work? Would it be effective? I don’t know. But I do know that I do my coaching 100% over the phone, and it is entirely effective this way. So why wouldn’t networking be also?
Here’s how it could play out… a group of people (I could pair them by industry or need or whatever but probably no more than 10-15) would get on a conference call for one hour. Each person would register ahead of time with their business card information, photo and business summary. On the 1-hour call we would do a round table of 3-5 minute intros and pitches followed by a few questions. Following the call everyone would get an email with all the registration information of each attendee.
The Pros: Participants could attend in their PJs. They could save time by attending during their commute. The call would be limited to 1 hour. The calls could be targeted to a specific industry or need and their size could be controlled. All callers would get the contact information of all participants. All callers could clearly hear the pitches of all other participants without the distraction of a loud bar.
The Cons: No face-to-face meeting/handshake. No opportunity for personal “after event” conversations with connections. (But could follow up via email.) Am I missing any others? And do we really need face to face connections up front in Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn society we live in?
So, this is where you come in. I want your feedback, thoughts, ideas, and if we try this out, your support. Send me an email with your thoughts firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment on this page for everyone to see. I look forward to seeing what you have to say!