Networking Tools: Meetup.com
I have a confession to make, I just got back from my first internet-discovered networking opportunity. I know millions of people find friends and business partners every day through Meetup.com (I joined the New to Seattle group) but, it still was weird to show up to a bar I didn’t know, by myself, with 50+ complete strangers. It definitely was an experience and, I would argue, a postive one.
The event was at TOI, an upscale Thai bar with a good ambience but only four beers on tap upstairs. I tried my first Mac & Jack after being referred by a local and it was definitely a powerful amber/brown ale from what I could tell. It was full of flavor with an almost powdery finishing texture.
You are not always going to have friends to introduce you or co-workers to talk to, it’s a fact of life. So why not grab the bull by the horns. Well, I grabbed a beer by it’s frosty edges first (beer #1 Pyramid Hefeweiss, a good Seattle weissbier (before the Mac & Jack)) and then I took a deep breath, and headed into the fray. Once I got a footing and introduced myself to a few people things smoothed out and a felt much less like someone who was trying to invade a group of friends through the internet. Meetup.com is just that, a place for people to meet others interested in social gatherings, just go with it, learn, and move forward as a better business person. I may even go to one when I get back to Milwaukee just for the character building.
Sidenote: Meetup.com had a joint event with BEAN Seattle, a young professionals group in Seattle that does social, service and networking events for young professionals and has it’s own social networking group. I will definitely be attending more of their events.
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