I was invited by my favorite coopetor (competitor/cooperator) colleague to the inaugural LinkedIn Local event she organized the last week in Stamford, CT, and the turnout, despite a previous snowstorm and power outages in the area, was crackling with warmth!
To be honest, and forgive me for sounding this way, but after 17 years networking around here, I rarely go someplace to network and not already know a handful or more of the attendees. This meetup was an exception: I only knew one person (from out-of-state) and reacquainted with one other attendee from one of my public sessions late last year.
The rest were new faces, fresh with stories of why they do what they do, excited about the intent of the evening and the prospect of using a mutual appreciation of LinkedIn as a lever to meet others face-to-face and let the connectivity take over.
Indeed it did.
I left with new colleagues. a handful of business cards, made it my first order of business the next morning to invite those I thought engaging and whom I could help to connect on LinkedIn, and the sparks are already flying.
The proper space, a glass of wine, open minds and opportunity to develop new colleagues all came together in a perfect storm, metaphorically, after a snow storm, meteorologic-ally.
See if a LinkedIn Local event is being held in your area.
Get out of the office, get a smile on, and practice that an elevator pitch of why you do what you do, and link out over LinkedIn.