Remember when you are out and about that you can find opportunities left and right to help your business out. Many people think you have to go to scheduled networking events and formal networking events to meet the people you need. However I must admit as an entrepreneur that I’ve had more success meeting people out and about being myself and then talking business and realizing we can help each other out.
I’ve touted the goodness of networking before but sometimes feel I must reiterate the power of proper networking and that it can happen at any time, at any place. The following events are from this past weekend (and a more social spin on it can be seen at TheSocialBeast.com) and had this entrepreneur giddier than hell.
It all started with what was supposed to be a quick meeting with a friend who also does promotions who was going to help with setting up the festival and help with getting a local beer distributor involved. We were going to discuss the upcoming Jakestock Festival (June 20 and 21 in Atlanta, celebrating Jake’s Ice Cream’s 10 year anniversary with bands, food, art and other goodness) and what to do. We met at a local bar and started chatting away. He got in touch with a friend that represents Sweetwater Brewery (he’s also a decent music producer if anyone needs that) and I got some insights there. Suddenly I’ve got a couple other friends showing up, one of whom is darn good at doing video work. I started getting everyone tied together and now we’ve got my video guy partnering up with Brass Knuckle Surfer to do a music video. Soon I was talking to another guy who popped up to say hi to my friends and he was telling me about his new venture of offering a culinary treat of Persian/Southern fusion. I totally enjoyed chatting with my new acquaintance and am looking forward to adding him to the list of Jakestock vendors. Awww yeah! And to think…this was just my first stop…
After that we headed to a couple other places…another bar, a BBQ place, chilling with managers, meeting owners, talking about the festival, getting insights on running successful campaigns…all good stuff to know as I take on my first festival.
The networking goodness continued on Sunday evening. While hanging out at a local bar for happy hour I met someone who I found out was a fellow Carnegie Mellon Alumn like myself. We talked about CMU for a while and then ended up talking shop as he was telling me of his company, an open source CRM company. We talked shop about his company, the industry, and everything in between. As I was speaking with him I saw my Persian acquaintance from Friday slide in the bar with his business partner. We talked more about the upcoming festival and then about how his business and my business could help each other out. I live for this!
Let that be a lesson (or a reminder) to us all. You never know who you’ll meet out and about. Keep plenty of business cards handy, be open to discussing anything and everything, never judge a book by its cover, and network your ass off while enjoying yourself with friends. The results can be extraordinary.