Sunday, August 3, 2008

Meeting Online Connections Offline

I love meeting new people, both online and offline. The famous motivational speaker Charlie 'Tremendous' Jones has a mantra: "The only difference between where you are now, and where you'll be next year, are the books you read and the people you meet." He has said it for more than 50 years and has influenced hundreds of thousands of people with that single sentence. Me included.

There are a 'Tremendous' number of social and professional networking websites to meet and interact with some very nice and interesting people. Sometimes, you have to create the opportunity to meet folks in person, who you have met online. That brings me to this Thursday at Banfield's Westside Grill, at the corner of Jackson & Zeeb roads in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Offline, I have a Professional Development, Mentoring and Referral Group called A2 Biz Insights. It is a really dynamic group of local business leaders who have made a commitment to help each other in business and in the community. We meet regularly to help each other grow professionally, and we also meet regularly on a social basis.

Online, I have met and connected with literally hundreds of people on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, Pownce, Xing, ECademy, Naymz, BizNik, Plaxo, MeetUp, Motor City Connect, and a few others I have lost track of.

Back to Thursday. I and a few of my networking friends are hosting a "Speed Networking" Happy Hour at Banfield's, starting at 6PM. This event will be a combination of A2 Biz Insights members and their friends, as well as a Networking Group, and other folks invited from other networking sites. Everyone who comes will receive a printed Dance Card, and are encouraged to meet and engage with everyone else in attendance to get their contact and business information, in anticipation of continuing a business relationship after the event. It is a low pressure, fun, casual environment to meet other local, energetic professionals who want to grow their businesses.

If you're reading this, and would like to join us, please call me at (734) 678-9032 to let me know you are coming. Guests are welcome. There is no cost, nothing to join, and nothing to do but meet new folks and have an enjoyable evening. You can even watch the Tigers and Lions on the Big Screen TV.

I hope to see you Thursday!

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