My latest work trip had me traveling down south to Fayetteville, North Carolina for a speaking engagement I wanted to attend. I always like traveling to the South because living in New York, people are always very brusk and kind of busy, but in the South, pretty much anywhere you go people are much more laid back. Of course, I also enjoy the warmer weather and beaches, but since this was a work trip, I didn’t think I would get the opportunity to have any leisure time.
I stayed at the Home 2 Suites by Hilton, as this was where the seminar was going to be. I always recommend that if you are considering becoming a networker, or simply want to give yourself an edge above the rest, attend as many speaking engagements, seminars, workshops, and other educational opportunities as you can. Keeping up with the times and what is going on within the industry is an integral part of successful networking.
Anyway, I caught an early breakfast and made my way to the conference center. I like to be one of the first people in the room so I can catch potential connections as soon as they come in. Though most of the event was listening to other successful networkers, I did manage to hand out my business card to a couple of Greenville-based physicians, a Fayetteville work comp lawyer, the manager of the Hilton where the event was taking place, and a general contractor from Durham.
The general contractor and I actually had a mutual friend from college and really hit it off, so he invited me to join him and a bunch of the guys he works with to go to Fantasy Lake Water Park the following day. Never willing to pass up an opportunity to meet new people, I rescheduled my flight for the red eye on Sunday evening and booked an extra night at the hotel.
Probably the best thing about the water park was it’s old school feel. It really brought me back to going away to camp for the summer. The water park had all these really cool wooden slides and a pavilion for us to barbecue.
All in all, I’d say it was another successful work trip, though, in my opinion, any chance you have to build connections and meet new people is a success. I’m not sure what my plans are for this week yet, but I’ll be back to update you all soon and provide more tips and tricks on how to be a great professional networker.