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Guest Post: Notes from a Networker, Pt. 2

Posted by Ilise Benun on

Guest-levinson_bugHello there,
Peter Levinson of LevinsonBlock LLC back with another post
chronicling my latest networking exploits. In addition to this, I’ve
been doing a lot of one-on-one meetings — catching up with people I
meet at these events, and figuring out if there is any synergy. So
here are some recent thoughts and then more events and groups I’ve
tried. Please post comments if you have experiences with any of these
groups also.

One nice thing about
going to a lot of networking events is that it takes the pressure
off. Since I’m meeting a fair amount of people, there is less
at stake with each conversation. This allows me to relax and say
anything that comes into my head (well, not everything).

For example, I was at a
reception during the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy annual meeting in Philadelphia. My elevator speech? It was about the
, a great band I had seen
the previous night at a club. Eventually I got around to talking
business. Was it relevant? No — but it was memorable. I usually try
less radical experiments — for example testing different catch
phrases or elevator pitches to see what people react to. I often try
tinkering with my pitch during the course of an event — it makes it
more entertaining.

Brooklyn Chamber of

If you want to meet the
political ruling class of Brooklyn, try going to one of the big
Chamber events, like the annual meeting. Keep in mind, many act like
high schoolers — there is definitely an in-crowd. For a sense of
what regular members are like, try one of their BAHs (Business After
Hours). You can probably wrangle a freebie, since they have to make
up for around 30% member turnover per year.

Net Impact

Still trying to figure
this group out. They are an odd mix of grad students, entrepreneurs
and consultants who are interested in sustainability. Some events are
very student-y, others business-like. I’ve met some very
interesting people in the 4 meetings I’ve attended, and
actually been able to refer some of them to other folks.

Random Events and Links

C Squared

Industry specific
networking – they are pretty restrictive about who attends. I’m
going to one this month. The December holiday party had free
admission, rather glitzy — had to pay for drinks — and no food

NYSIA: New York
Software Industry Association

If this is your target
sector, check out NYSIA. Meetings are attended by software company
folks and people who want to do business with them. They have special
interest groups — I go to the Sales and Marketing SIG; and there are
monthly meetings. Events are mostly free.

Peter Levinson is principal of LevinsonBlock
, a marketing and design firm. Our approach
is pragmatic — our goal is help our clients connect with their
target audience and make money. We build usable websites; develop
brand strategies and brands; create persuasive content; and design

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