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The Day I-85 Fell In Atlanta

OK, I wasn’t anywhere near Interstate 85 during the fire and the subsequent collapse. That event, although tragic, didn’t affect me at all, well, at least not yet. In fact, I was at least twenty miles to the Northwest in Marietta at a networking event. I didn’t learn about the incident until driving home.

Al Maxwell and Dawn Barrs hosted the event I attended.  They are business associates who teamed-up to sell real estate under the Keller Williams brand.  This was the fourth gatherings they have hosted in the past year, with plans to have one event each quarter.    It is a component of their marketing outreach. I’ve known Dawn for over 12 years.   I met Al at their first event last year.  Both are first-rate networkers.

The event was held at Sage Social Kitchen and Bar, which until recently was a Chequers restaurant.  It is a great venue, conveniently located, with a private room to mix and mingle.  The hors d'oeuvre table was strategically located in the middle of the room.

I invited Faith and Hope to attend as my guests.  They were my guests at the last event, which proved to be a productive time for each.  That was my contribution to help Dawn and Al.  Faith couldn’t make it, but Hope was available.  

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Hope and I arrived at the same time, and entered the venue together. We were among the first, my plan to beat rush-hour traffic. Arriving early is a good way to spend quality time with your hosts before they become involved with other guests.  We checked-in, accepted our name badges and made small-talk with Al, who was manning the reception table. Dawn was across the room on her cell phone.  She eventually made it over and greeted me with a big hug. Almost immediately she and Hope were deep in conversation, discussing mutual interests.  Hope is an Interior Designer; working for a remodeling company so connecting her to Dawn was ideal.  By this time, I was getting to know Terry, who arrived immediately after Hope and me.

KEY POINTS TO HOSTING A SUCCESSFUL NETWORKING EVENT

  1. Find a convenient location with proper food and beverage capabilities.
  2. Schedule the event so that guests are not fighting rush-hour traffic.
  3. Use a tool like Evite to invite and manage guest communications.
  4. Use a greeting table to welcome guests and provide name tags.
  5. Locate Food and beverage service so as to facilitate mingling.

Terry is a former AT&T executive who became an entrepreneur when he retired.  He owns a business that helps smaller companies manage their IT networks and infrastructure. We had a nice chat about cyber security, the hottest topic in his field, and certainly top of mind with the politicians in Washington. Terry could be a good contact as we both serve similar customers.  I gave him my card, but he did not seem to have one.  Later, I sent a 'thank you' note to Dawn and Al, and asked for his contact information.  I probably spent too much time talking with Terry, but he was interesting and friendly.  Eventually, I made a gracious exit and began circulating.

Two hours into the meeting, Hope had to leave as she had another appointment.   I spent the next twenty minutes or so making my exit, thanking my hosts on the way out. 

I would have to say that this was a successful event. It was well attended, and I met eight people who I plan to see again.  One is a potential candidate and four are potential referral sources. 

My work is all about meeting new people and strengthening existing relationships.  I attend at least one networking event a week.  Some groups are not as productive, and the events are not well planned.  Not a surprise if I don’t accept their next invitation.  Dawn and Al run the model networking meeting, which I always enjoy.   I will make every effort to attend their future events.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  I hope you enjoyed my point of view and would like to receive regular posts directly to your email inbox. Toward this end, put your contact information on my mailing list.  

Your feedback helps me continue to publish articles that you want to read. Your input is important to me so; please leave a comment.

 

Jim Weber, President

New Century Dynamics Executive Search

JimWeber@NewCenturyDynamics.com

Author of: Fighting Alligators: Job Search Strategy For The New Normal

 

Job Search Strategy For The New Normal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Assignments

1. COO- Atlanta-based Casual Dining Restaurant Company – New

2. Director of Business Dev, Atlanta-based B2B Professional Services Company: Complete
3. Payroll-Benefits Manager, Atlanta-based Retail Company:  Complete
4. Senior Accounting Manager – Atlanta-based Manufacturer. Offer Accepted
5. Controller – Atlanta-based Restaurant Company:  New

 

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Jim Weber Bio
Prior to forming New Century Dynamics in 1999, Jim Weber spent 22 years with Fortune 500 franchising companies in the Food Retailing Industry where he developed a broad-based portfolio of “hands-on” line and staff experience in growth and turnaround situations.
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