“What happens if this turns into a huge disaster and only five people show up?”
Those are just two of the thoughts that came to mind before hosting my very first networking event.
Here is what actually happened…
“Let’s Grab a Margarita and Talk About Social Media” was the follow up mixer to the networking event that started with one of my tweets.
Over 151 people RSVP’d through the Eventbrite link.
About 100 people came to the event and everyone had a great time. None of my fears came true.
What I didn’t expect was for people to ask me, “What was the point of throwing this event?”
My own parents even said, “Why would you do this? What do you get out of it?”
I didn’t have any answer.
- I am not unemployed and looking for a job
- I am not charging anyone money to attend
- I am not getting a cut of all the sales generated throughout the night
- I am not launching a product or making people sign up to get my free guide to attend.
I didn’t even email everyone who attended and let them know how to could connect with anyone they just met.
I kept telling everyone that I thought it would be a fun thing to do.
Not very compelling.
I thought a lot about why I hosted the event. I still had no answer (and it wasn’t because of too many margarita’s).
It all clicked after I checked my Twitter feed and saw these tweets:
And I realized that this is why I hosted the event.
Not to read tweets about what a great job Dirk and I did, but to:
- Do something nice for the people we have met online, but haven’t had a chance to meet in real life.
- Offer people value by introducing them our friends.
- Get people away from their computers and meet other smart people in real life.
Over the years I have learned that the quickest way to build a relationship is to do something nice or helpful without expecting anything in return.
Tweet this right now if you agree with the statement below:
I had no agenda and didn’t expect anyone to do me any favors in return.
I am a freaking weirdo. I enjoy doing stuff like this.
Doing things like this is probably why people:
- Introduce me to people who can help build my website
- Email me about job opportunities that aren’t public yet
- Invite me to events they host
Now The Most Important Part: Take Action
Do a nice thing for someone without expecting anything in return. You don’t have to throw a networking event. Here are some really easy things you could do in 15 minutes.
- Tweet a coffee to someone for no reason at all: https://www.starbucks.com/tweet-a-coffee (it’s $5)
- Take someone out to lunch
- Send a great book to someone
- Email someone a job opportunity they might be a good fit for
- Send a helpful article to someone
- Send a text message to someone and say, “Thanks for helping me do XYZ. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.”
If you would like to do something nice for me, please tweet or email this article to a friend or colleague who will find it valuable.
Leave a comment below and tell me a time that someone did something nice for you and didn’t expect anything in return? How did it make you feel?
I will read every comment!