Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Networking: Morning or Evening?

This morning on the Marketing Mix Blog, self-promo rock star Ilise Benun posed the question: do early risers make better networkers? In her experience, Ilise seems to prefer morning events, but will they work for everyone?

I think it all depends on how you work. In my first year promoting the zen kitchen, I tried a number of different types of events, and I found the few morning events I got to quite unproductive, for a couple of reasons. For one, the time it takes to actually get ready and head down to a 7am networking event would literally have me up sometime around 4:30-5am, given the long commute into Boston via public transit, and that just didn't work for me. I'd show up with hair still wet and making a beeline for the coffee and breakfast, and while I did meet a couple of folks, they were almost never folks that I kept in touch with.

And since so much of my work is with entrepreneurs (literally 80% of my business at this point, and I'm happy with that), the folks I found at the morning meetings were mostly folks that were in the area anyway, which in most areas of Boston means mostly corporate types and folks in the financial industry.

In general, your first year of attending events is really an evaluation period to find out what types of events work for you - try a bit of each of them, and stick with the ones where you enjoy the people you meet there, you feel focused and confident, and you get out of them what you intend to. For me, it's lunch/dinner events where you actually sit down and talk to people, and where there's a good mix of people but it's not an enormous crowd. Cocktail events don't work for me, and I despise crowded events. You might find that a different mix works for you. That's the beauty of so many options - you can pick and choose the mix that works.

So, what are your favorite types of events?


Ilise Benun said...

Dani, I love the way you've built your own post based on your response/comment to mine yesterday.

The truth is that even though I'm an early-riser, I like to spend that pre-sunrise time walking my dog, especially on balmy winter days like yesterday.

And my favorite events are, like you, the ones where there aren't too many people and you can sit and chat for a while.

But one of my goals as a mentor is to get people to try things they haven't, so the early morning ones usually fall into that category.

Dani Nordin said...


Thanks for the props! I like to re-use my rants on occasion - they make good blog fodder.

I totally understand getting folks to try new things that they haven't tried before; I just think it's also important that folks pay attention to how they operate at events, and which ones work for them.