Sunday, June 29, 2008

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for 6-29

Fireworks at the Philadelphia Art Museum
As you might expect, this is a slow week for networking and a big week for fireworks. Monday has some interesting events going on, but it gets quiet after that. As for fireworks, our family tries to see fireworks at least three times during the July 4th weekend. We might do it this week, by stretching a bit. Our favorite place is Radnor -- lots of green grass for the kids to run around, easy-on easy-off on the Blue Route. Then, there is always the fireworks at either the Art Museum or Penns Landing (or both!). Finally, the Phillies are planning fireworks for July 9 and 11, as the Mets are in town this weekend and there's no good reason to waste fireworks on Mets fans (actually, I think the Phillies figure they can sell out a Phillies-Mets game, with or without fireworks, so why waste money on fireworks?)

I have to tell you. The new Basecamp Business regional event calendar has made putting this TWIP posting together really easy. I just do a quick scan of the calendar, export the interesting events into the Fun With Networking Google Calendar, and then write up the post. Finding the photographs is the hardest part.

Sunday, 29-Jun

UPA Delaware Valley -- Greater Philadelphia User Experience Summer Picnic
12pm - Ridley Creek State Park - Pavilion #3

Monday, 30-Jun

ITAG -- Web Optimization
7:30am - DVIRC Innovation Center- The Navy Yard 4801 S Broad St, Suite 200 Philadelphia, PA 19112

ChemPharma -- ChemPharma Philadelphia Chapter Summer Networking Social
5pm - Charlie Brown's 324 W. Swedesford Rd Berwyn, PA 19312

Greater Philadelphia Professional Network -- June Networking Mixer
6pm - Jack's Firehouse 2130 Fairmount Ave Philadelphia, PA 19130

Wayne Presbyterian Church -- Career Networking Program
7:30pm - Wayne Presbyterian Church, 125 E. Lancaster Ave, Wayne

Tuesday, 1-Jul

LeTip of Center City Philadelphia -- Weekly Meeting
11:30am - Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia

Wednesday, 2-Jul

Cherry Hill Regional Chamber of Commerce -- Camden Chamber Networking Luncheon
12pm - Pub Restaurant, Pennsauken

CFAP -- Wilmington Networking Happy Hour
5-ish pm - Deep Blue Bar, Wilmington -- but you better call ahead to find out!

Fountain show as Longwood Gardens
Photos uploaded by BarnyardBBS

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

There Are No Secrets Anymore

There are a couple of things I've noticed this week that I thought were both interesting and thought-provoking. All of them point to what Valeria Maltoni has called the "Myth of Privacy," which is to say that there is no real privacy. It is becoming very easy to find out just about anything you want to know about just about anyone. It is all transparent, a useful and dangerous thing for a networker.

Glassdoor is a site that provides people with an insider's look at a company. It operates under the principal of "you show me yours and I'll show you mine." Once you share your perspective on your current company, your job, and your salary, you get access to the information that others have entered about their companies, jobs, and salaries. By the same token, LinkedIn Companies is a great tool for finding out what sort of people are working at a company, what sort of people they are hiring, etc. I'll try to get around to posting about that in the near future.

Springwise, which had a nice write up on Glassdoor, says its has a "network of 8,000 spotters, who scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds." It is a fascinating source of creative new ideas. And, as I've said, ideas can make all the difference in your networking.

The source of all this was the latest Weekly Executive Coach e-mail from The Ladders. I can't speak much to the $100K jobs they post, but the articles and websites they list in their e-mail are always interesting. I recommend reading Dean Tracy's article on Search Strategies: Back to Basics, which has some excellent advice on networking, even if you are not looking for a job.

Photo uploaded by sylvar

Monday, June 23, 2008

Basecamp Business Community Calendar in Philadelphia Business Journal

Peter Key at the Philadelphia Business Journal wrote a piece in this week's PBJ on Mel Baiada and Basecamp Business, of which the regional calendar of events I've been telling you about is just one small (but significant) part.

South Jersey tech entrepreneur Mel Baiada has started a company to develop products aimed at strengthening the area's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Peter highlights our work with DreamIt Ventures (Basecamp Business is providing a collaborative work environment that allows the entrepreneurs and advisors involved in DreamIt to coordinate their efforts more effectively). He also touches on the community calendar on the MAC Alliance website, which allows people to see and sort through events of interest to entrepreneurs.

Baiada got the idea for BaseCamp Business a few years ago when he realized that most people who start companies have expertise in their chosen field but not in business and that their success often depends upon being able to find the right people to advise them.

"It's very inefficient for the entrepreneurs to garner the knowledge they need," he said.

Baiada intends to have BaseCamp Business develop tools that make it more efficient. But even if it succeeds, he doesn't think the company will change the area overnight or by itself.

"It's going to take five to 10 years to make any dent in the efficiency of the ecosystem and it has to be done collaboratively," he said.

Collaboration is the key.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for 6-22

Picnic table at night

It's a slow week, but there are a couple of interesting "annual meetings," some awards, and a few picnics. I've heard from a number of people that the Eastern Tech Council "Hot Fun in the Summertime" picnic is a good event to see and be seen at. I'm also intrigued by the joint picnic that UPA Delaware Valley, PhillyCHI, PANMA, and a few other groups are holding at Ridley Creek State Park.

You may also note that I'm pulling a lot of information from the new MAC Alliance / Basecamp Business regional event calendar, which you can find at It's a great resource with a lot of potential, and I urge you to try it out and sign up for the weekly update e-mail.

Monday, 23-Jun

Young Professionals Network -- YPN Golf Outing
11am - Bala Golf Club

PPRA -- Annual Meeting Featuring Keynote Remarks by Wendy Warren, Editor,
5:30pm - Chima Brazilian Steakhouse 1901 JFK Blvd. Philadelphia, PA 19103

Wayne Presbyterian Church -- Career Networking Program
7:30pm - Wayne Presbyterian Church, 125 E. Lancaster Ave, Wayne

Tuesday, 24-Jun

GPSEG -- Internation Executives Subgroup: Dominic O’Brien, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA)
8am - Philadelphia Port Authority 3460 North Delaware Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19134

LeTip of Center City Philadelphia -- Weekly Meeting
11:30am - Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia

Sustainable Business Network -- Meet Me in a Minute! Networking Event
6pm - Greenable, 126 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Wednesday, 25-Jun

Philly AMA -- Changing of the Board Social Happy Hour

5:30pm - Cavanaugh’s River Deck

Eastern Technology Council -- Solve Your Recruiting Challenges Once and For All
8:30am - Penn State Great Valley 30 East Swedesford Road Malvern, PA 19355

Independence Business Alliance -- Annual Meeting
5:45pm - Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia

YWTF Philadelphia -- Speed Networking
6pm - Bleu Martini

ISES Greater Philadelphia -- Liberty Awards 2008
6pm - Sheraton Society Hill, 1 Dock Street

Thursday, 26-Jun

Eastern Technology Council -- Hot Fun in the Summertime
5:30pm - Safeguard Scientifics Campus 435 Devon Park Drive Wayne, PA 19082

Saturday, 28-Jun

ASTD Organizational Development SIG -- The Mystery of Employee Engagement and Why it Matters
9:30am - Strayer University 234 Mall Boulevard Suite G50 King of Prussia, PA 19406

Sunday, 29-Jun

UPA Delaware Valley -- Greater Philadelphia User Experience Summer Picnic
12pm - Ridley Creek State Park - Pavilion #3

Photo uploaded by deansouglass

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Top 5 Tips to Make Networking Happen at a Conference

I was bouncing through LinkedIn the other day, and I stumbled upon a question by Julius Solaris of the Event Manager Blog asking people to list their top five "tricks" for networking during conferences. He got an interesting set of responses. I won't steal any of his thunder, as he plans on using the responses in a blog post, but I do suggest that you read the discussion.

That got me thinking about my own approach to networking at a conference. I won't say these are the be-all and end-all of networking at conferences, and a lot of the same advice I give about networking (be open, and it's not about you) would still apply.

Get a copy of the attendee list and look up people on LinkedIn. Often you get a list of attendees when you register and get your badge and materials at the conference site. It's well worth the time to scan through, see who is attending, and use LinkedIn to find out more about your fellow attendees. I did this earlier this week for a meeting I was attending, and it was a great help.

Use LinkedIn Answers to ask if others are going to the conference. That way you will go to the event having some connections already started.

Volunteer to help out. This isn't appropriate for all events, but if it is an event being run by a non-profit or an industry association, then chances are that they depend on volunteers to make things happen. Spending an hour helping to make the event work will pay off in ways you cannot imagine.

Be friendly. Talk to people while standing in line for coffee. Strike up conversations with the people sitting near you who are also waiting for the session to start. Questions like: "What do you think of the conference so far?" "Have you heard this speaker before?" "What did you think of the last session?" Note that no business cards have exchanged hands.

Connect other people. Ask people who they would like to meet. Then, if you meet someone later that fits that profile, ask if you can introduce the two together.

Meet the speakers. Presumably, the speakers had something interesting to say and were speaking to a topic you want to learn more about. Go up, ask a question. Even better, ask a question that requires some degree of follow-up. Then, follow-up. Try an experiment and, for one conference, go and ask a question of every speaker.
Well, that's 6 tips, but no matter...

Photo uploaded by Evan•L

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sneak Preview of New Region-wide Calendar

Our new region-wide community calendar was previewed to a select group of people at this past week's MAC Alliance Awards Luncheon, and I've decided that the readers of FunWithNetworking deserve to be let in on the fun, too. Go to and sign on up! You're one of the lucky few who are getting an early look at this calendar...

I say "our" new community calendar for two reasons: first, I'm on the team that's putting it together; second, it's a "community calendar", so you own it too (metaphorically, at least).

I'm really excited about this. I've been working hard on keeping my own little calendar going since last summer, simply because I saw a need for a single, unified calendar that pulled all the events happening all over the Philadelphia region. I was frustrated because I lacked the resources to grow it larger.

When Mel Baiada and David Epstein at Basecamp Business came looking to talk with me in March, they offered me the opportunity to join what I was doing with a much more powerful regional calendar for business events. The MAC Alliance has stepped up to be the first to host this regional calendar on its web site, but this is a region-wide collaborative effort to meet a region-wide need, so I expect this calendar to be appearing on web sites all over the Philadelphia region. Seriously, this could be big stuff.

Basecamp Business helps entrepreneurial companies increase their chance of success

Among the cool features:

  • Events are tagged by Subject, so you can filter events to pick out specific areas of interest. You don't have to have the "firehose" of events I've had with the FunWithNetworking calendar.
  • You can filter by distance from a zip code, and the Event Profile event shows you a map of the meeting location
  • You can sign up for a weekly e-mail newsletter, sent on Wednesday, that will keep you up-to-date with next week's events (filtered for your interests)

You can use the calendar without signing up, but I encourage you to sign up and become part of the community. I'd also love your feedback on how we can improve the new calendar. Add an event, if we've managed to overlook one. Also, please let your friends and colleagues know about this calendar.

At this point, I haven't decided what to do with the FunWithNetworking calendar and the TWIP postings. It doesn't take too much effort to maintain, but it is effort that now duplicates the effort I'm putting into the Basecamp Business calendar. And I hate duplicated effort.

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for 6-15

Fireflies in a jar = Summer

We're just starting to see our first fireflies here at my house. Seems a little late to me. Even so, I always enjoy watching them. They start low early in the evening and then gradually work their way up to the top of the trees.

Hope you are enjoying the beginning of your summer. Remember: when someone asks you at a summer party, "How are you doing?" you don't answer "All right." and leave it at that. Have some really exciting development in mind that you can share, hopefully one that will start a conversation.

Tuesday, 17-Jun

Philadelphia Human Resources Planning Society (PHRPS) -- GLOBALIZATION
7:30am - The HUB Cira Centre

LeTip of Center City Philadelphia -- Weekly Meeting
11:30am - Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia

Philly Startup Leaders -- Philly Startup Leaders Funding Education Panel
6pm - Laurence Baiada Center for Entrepreneurship, Drexel University 3225 Arch Street Wedge Classroom Philadelphia, PA 19104

Wednesday, 18-Jun

University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business -- Emerging Trends in the Search for Leadership
7:30am - Wharton's Huntsman Hall Walnut and 38th Streets Philadelphia, PA 19104

Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce -- Access International
8:30am - The Hub Cira Centre 2929 Arch Street Mezzanine Level Philadelphia, PA 19014

Philly SHRM -- Mentoring for Career Success
5:30pm - ARAMARK Tower, 1101 Market Street, 16th Floor

PAMPI -- 30th Annual Awards Gala
6pm - Ballroom at the Ben

Womens Business Forum -- Self-Care=Success
7:30pm - James Lorah House, Doylestown

Thursday, 19-Jun

Bagels & Business, Cabrini College -- Creating a Culture of Excellence
7:30am - The Mansion, Cabrini College

Career Potential -- Salary Negotiation: The Rules Of The Game
9am - Two Penn Center, 1500 JFK Boulevard, Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA

Independence Business Alliance -- LGBT Business Brown Bag: Marketing Your Business
12pm - William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce Street

White Horse Pike Chamber of Commerce Connection
5:30pm - The Pufferbelly, Lindenwold, NJ

PRSA -- Chapter Happy Hour
5:30pm - The Field House, 1125 Filbert St

Friday, 20-Jun

Likemind -- Likemind meet up
8am - Old City Coffee, 221 Church Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

ASTD Professional Publishing SIG -- A Passion for Words: The Craft of Writing
9:30am - Strayer University, King of Prussia

Photo uploaded by seanmcgrath.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for 6-8

The fuse is lit for Ignite Philly
While there may be fewer events this week, what is happening this week packs a lot of punch. There are a lot of events I'm planning to attend this week, but there are two that have me the most excited.

The first is IgnitePhilly, a local version of a meetup format that's been getting some buzz elsewhere and is being kicked off here this week. Those of you who have been following FunWithNetworking for a while know that I like events that break the mold and try new ways of getting people to interact, share ideas, and take action. For IgnitePhilly, a group of 20 or so speakers get 5 minutes each to ignite us with their passion and their ideas, while their 20-slide slide show plays in the background, flashing a new slide every 15 seconds.

I trust this isn't death by PowerPoint, but given the list of speakers lined up I'm thinking this should be an interesting evening.

MAC Alliance logo
The second event is a little more personal, but I think it will be of interest to those of you reading FunWithNetworking and getting the TWIP This Week in Philadelphia feed. I'll give you more details later, but there is going to be a very exciting calendar-related announcement taking place at this Thursday's MAC Alliance 21st Annual Award Luncheon.

(I know, you think it's strange to get excited about a calendar, but I can tell you from personal experience that calendars bring people together, setting the stage for newer and bigger things.)

Monday, 9-Jun

Mid-Atlantic Consultants Network -- 20 Lethal Legal Land Mines Consultants Should Avoid
7:30am - Merrill Lynch, 724 West Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087

Philly AMA -- The Disney Keys to Excellence
7:30am - Drexel University

Wayne Presbyterian Church -- Career Networking Program
7:30pm - Wayne Presbyterian Church, 125 E. Lancaster Ave, Wayne

Tuesday, 10-Jun

Sales & Marketing & Executives International -- Strategic Alliances
7:30am - Plymouth Country Club, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462

Pennsylvania Bio -- The Finance Cycle of a Bioscience Firm: A Case Study
7:30am - Desmond Hotel, Malvern

LeTip of Center City Philadelphia -- Weekly Meeting
11:30am - Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia

Philly AMA -- Souper Marketing: Turning Challenges into Breakthrough Opportunities Within Business to Business Marketing
11:30am - Maggiano’s Little Italy, Philadelphia

Cherry Hill Regional Chamber of Commerce -- Power Networking Luncheon
12pm - Coastline Restaurant, 1240 Brace Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

CFA Society of Philadelphia -- Annual Meeting
5pm - Acorn Club, 1519 Locust Street, Philadelphia, 19102

Entrepreneurs Forum of Greater Philadelphia -- Exit Strategies
5pm - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Wednesday, 11-Jun

Knowledge Management Group of Philadelphia -- Change Management
7:45am - Penn State Great Valley

Center City Proprietors Association -- Lunch with the City's Leaders: David Yadgaroff, et al.
11:45am - Brasserie Perrier

BioNJ -- CFO Forum: Collaboration, Big Pharma and What Attracts Them to Biotechnology
2pm - Merck & Co., 126 East Lincoln Avenue, Rahway, NJ

Philadelphia SHRM -- Networking Event
5:30pm - Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

IgnitePhilly -- First Ignite Event
6pm - Johnny Brenda's. 1201 N. Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Thursday, 12-Jun

Center City Proprietors Association -- The Breakfast Club
7:45am - Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, 111 South 17th Street, 2nd Floor

eWomenNetwork -- "Accelerated Networking" Luncheon
11am - Union League

MAC Alliance -- 21st Annual MAC Alliance Awards Luncheon
11:30am - Crystal Tea Room, Wanamaker Building

National Speakers Association Mid Atlantic -- Chapter BBQ
6pm - Rich Lucia’s House

Saturday, 14-Jun

PACS -- Smart Computing Magazine
8am - Upper Moreland Middle School

Career Transitions -- Enhance Your "People Reading" Skills by Knowing Your Audience During Your Job Search
9:45am - Strayer University, 234 Mall Blvd. King of Prussia

Sunday, June 1, 2008

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for 6-1

Corinthian Yacht Club Laser Fleet

I thoroughly enjoyed this past week's GPSEG open social event at the Corinthian Yacht Club, which is right on the banks of the Delaware River a little south of the Airport. The setting was gorgeous, not at all what you might expect to find just a few blocks from I-95 and Route 420.

People have yet to discover the beauty of the Delaware River just south of the airport, but I bet more people will know of it soon. The setting is beautiful because that part of New Jersey is somehow preserved (or at least, undeveloped), so the view of the opposite bank appears rural. The river flows gently past, up or down, depending on the tide.

The City of Chester recently opened a walking trail along its part of the Delaware River waterfront, an effort to reclaim the river from industry and make it accessable for the first time in 100 years. And speaking of rivers, take a networking boat ride on the Schuykill this Wednesday with the Center City Proprietors Association.

Monday, 2-Jun

BOMA Philadelphia -- Golf Outing
All day - Philmont Country Club

GVFHRA -- Career Networking Group
5:30pm - Right Management, Berwyn PA

Wayne Presbyterian Church -- Career Networking Program
7:30pm - Wayne Presbyterian Church, 125 E. Lancaster Ave, Wayne

Tuesday, 3-Jun

La Salle Nonprofit Center -- Annual Nonprofit Strategies Forum
8am - Cira Center

LeTip of Center City Philadelphia -- Weekly Meeting
11:30am - Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia

Young Professionals Network -- Spring Event with Lyn Abraham
6pm - Racquet Club of Philadelphia

Wednesday, 4-Jun

ExecuNet -- Executive Networking
7:30am - Sheraton Park Ridge Hotel, King of Prussia

Womens Business Forum -- Blogging: Is It for Me?
8am - James Lorah House, Doylestown

ExecuNet -- Philadelphia Senior Executive Roundtable
9:30am - Sheraton Park Ridge Hotel, King of Prussia

Center City Proprietors Association -- Lunch with the City's Leaders: Gerald M. Cope
11:45am - Brasserie Perrier

Cherry Hill Regional Chamber of Commerce -- Camden Chamber Networking Luncheon
12pm - Pub Restaurant, Pennsauken

Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Philadelphia/MAC Alliance -- Private Equity Investing & Industry Outlook
4pm - Union League of Philadephia

Center City Proprietors Association -- Networking on the Schuylkill River and Riverboat Cruise
5:30pm - CDA&I Architecture and Interiors, Ltd.; 225 South 25th Street, Ground Floor

WRBC -- Women & Giving: Philanthropy & Volunteerism
5:30pm - Margaret Kuo's, Wayne, PA

PPRA -- The Scent of Networking: the Odor Limits
6pm - University City Science Center, Esther M. Klein Art Gallery

PDMA -- 2008 Benny Awards
6:30pm - Loews Philadelphia Hotel

Thursday, 5-Jun

IABC -- Building Communities within The Wonderful World of Web 2.0
7:30am - Doubletree Guest Suites Philadelphia West, Plymouth Meeting

Philly Ad Club -- Luncheon: Movers and Shakers
12pm - Millennium Ballroom, Loews Hotel

200 Pros -- Networking Happy Hour
5pm - The Rum Bar, 2005 Walnut Street, Philadelpha PA 19103

Women's Business Development Center -- Orientation Session
6pm - 1315 Walnut Street, Suite 1124

Philadelphia Future Salon -- Monthly meeting
6pm - Buchanan Ingersoll, Philadelphia Room, 1835 Market Street, on the 14th floor

Friday, 6-Jun

Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures -- Late Spring Venture Forum
8am - Philadelphia Country Club, 1601 Spring Mill Road, Gladwyne, PA 19035

Young Professionals Network -- YPN Volunteer Event
11am - McClure Elementary School

GPSEG -- CIO Subgroup: China: Phillippines vs. India: The State of your Data in 2011
11:30am - Aldo Lamberti