Friday, November 16, 2007

Bagels and Business: Third Time's the Charm

I wrote last week about how networking relationships really don't start paying off until you meet someone for the third time, and I experienced that first hand this week.

I attended my third Bagels and Business lecture at Cabrini College yesterday. I've gotten to enjoy these meetings a great deal, and I recommend Bagels and Business as a place to network. There is always a guest lecturer, on topics ranging from ethics in the workplace, to jump-starting your business, to writing a business plan. The lectures are only 45 minutes long, but I've found the speakers to be top-notch -- very informative and very knowledgeable about their topics.

The only downside: it starts at 7:30 in the morning. But it is done by 8:30, so you can get on with your day, feeling like you've accomplished something of significance before most people have even had their first cup of coffee.

The room is set up with large, round tables, and there is plenty of time before and after the lecture to network with your table-mates. The meetings draw a diverse crowd, about 40 to 50 people, with a nice mixture of regular attendees and newcomers.

I ended up sitting next to Rhonda Serkes, who has an advertising and graphic design firm called Help Me Rhonda. I had met Rhonda briefly at the LinkedIn Meet & Greet back in July, and we had bumped into each other at least one other time, but this was the first time we had a chance to sit down and talk. It was a great connection.

While we were talking, Rick Simmons of Dinkum Interactive stopped by to say hello to Rhonda. I'd never met Rick, but I had heard a great deal about Dinkum from friends and colleagues. Rick and I started talking, and when I told him about a challenge one of my clients was facing, he gave me some great advice on other people to talk to.

So, third time is the charm with Bagels and Business and with Rhonda. I suppose I'll need to work on meeting Rick a couple of more times now...

(Rhonda, incidentally, will be the speaker at next month's Bagels and Business, comparing the effectiveness of e-mail marketing and direct marketing.)

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