Search This Blog

Friday, September 5, 2008

Networking Events Are Awesome!

As you probably already know, I am huge on filling my circle of influence with beautiful, positive, interesting and intelligent like-minded people with whom I can share resources, collaborate and play. To this end, I attend a whole bunch of networking events around the city. If you have been following my tweets, then you know that Wednesday night I attended what I think was one of the best networking events ever, a comment that was shamelessly retweeted by the event's founder.

NetParty held its Chicago launch at the Sound Bar on Wednesday night. There were well over 1000 R.S.V.P.'s for the event. As a matter-of-fact, when I arrived just 30 minutes into the event, there was actually a line from the alley entrance of the Sound Bar off Franklin that wrapped around to the Ontario side. NetParty is the brain child of Jeff Strank, a reformed attorney and technogeek wannabe, and is currently operating in 15 U.S. states as well as in Argentina. NetParty's business and social networking events cater to young professionals (in their 20's and 30's)and are held after-hours at some of the hottest social venues including nightclubs, lounges and mansions. NetParty describes the first two hours of each event as an "extended cocktail hour" in which there are passed hors d'oeuvres, drink specials and soft music making casual conversations easy. As the night wears on, and attendees have consumed quite a bit of alcohol, the atmosphere changes to a lighter social scene to include more musical entertainment and dancing.

First off, the Sound Bar is a great venue. It boasts 9 uniquely colored bars, multiple VIP lounges, comfortably plush sofas and a huge dance floor, all fitting easily into its two stories located within a 20,000 square foot space. The lighting was perfect and so was the music that put some of us thirty-somethings in a reminiscing mindset; a great conversation piece. NetParty promised free PAMA-tinis and $3 Miller Lites, offers that were well taken advantage of. The crab rangoon, mini fried rolls and other hors d'oeuvres were delectable. A fellow networker complimented me with a Cosmo that was beyond description. A+ to NetParty for choosing such an awesome location.

I was utterly thrilled by the diversity of the attendees. There were young professionals of every ethnicity well-represented throughout the event, a point that seems to be an issue at many of the past networking events I have attended. There was also a broad range of professions which NetParty did an amazing job of providing everyone with color-coded name tags according to their industry category. Categories included business, sales and healthcare among others; making it relatively easy to find professionals with shared interests. Additionally, NetParty did an awesome job of managing the R.S.V.P.'s which made that long line to get in not as cumbersome as I initially thought it would be upon arriving. The NetParty hosts were also friendly, gracious and quite helpful.

I made a lot of valuable contacts as I am sure everyone did who was lucky enough to learn of this event. One connection in particular was, as he described it, "worth the whole event". That was the comment made by network marketer and author, Jordan L. Adler after our extremely impassioned conversation about creating multiple income streams, internet marketing and Jordan's new book, Beach Money. Jason and I hit it off so well that he will be forwarding me a copy of the book for my review and possible inclusion in an upcoming Building Bridges radio show.

While Jordan, his entourage and I were talking, a NetParty professional photographer snapped our picture. An interesting tidbit for other event planners is that NetParty has teamed up with SmugMug which allows event-goers to view the pictures that were taken and purchase prints online. That is a great additional income-generator and it adds value to the site experience of your visitors. Merchandise such as t-shirts can also be purchased featuring the prints. SmugMug is a great company for picture-sharing with friends and families as well. Anyone from your everyday picture-taker to the photography professional can use the site to generate quality prints. The picture of Jordan and I is shown just here to the right. Once I have had the opportunity to review his book, you will definitely hear about it here.

I definitely suggest that you check out NetParty's future events. The launch party was free to those who R.S.V.P.'ed but the standard entry fee is only $20.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day & Content Contests

Well I must say that I sure do have a lot of crazy contacts within my circle of influence. Everyone seems to have gone content bananas and are insistent upon dragging me through the grind with them. Okay, so maybe I'm not being dragged but this sure is the nice swift kick in the butt I needed to get myself going.

A few weeks ago my blogging buddy, Ivo, decided to get me hooked on Squidoo. It was actually a Twitter friend, Marguerite (affectionately known as momsherbs among us twits), who did it to me but Ivo generated this thing called the 60-Day-Squidoo Challenge that has really gotten my goat. Squidoo is basically a free site that allows users to build single pages about their passions. The cool thing about Squidoo is that it allows you to either share in the advertising revenue from display ads on your pages or you can opt to have your share donated to charity. In any case, I have gotten hooked and have already posted 6 pages, also known as lenses. I would have done more than that by now but I have been focusing much of my attentions to my website redesign project. I will definitely catch up after this week.

Then along comes Carrie Lauth with her 30 Day, 30 Article Challenge. I have to blame another of my Twitter friends, LaTara Ham-Ying, for this one. I might have to stop reading her updates as she is always posting something for me to get hoodwinked into. Last week it was the Green Smoothie Challenge. Argghhh! Didn't opt to do that one though, as I was already on my own brand of green smoothie cleanse but, had I not been, I sure would have leaped at this.

In any case, Carrie's blog is challenging participants to write 30 articles per month. That can seem like a lot of writing but given that I need content for Squidoo, eHow, this blog and my newly designed website, this should be right up my alley. Besides, article marketing is a great traffic generator. I distribute my articles to free submission sites which then get picked up by other publishers throughout the world wide web. The benefit to this is that my contact and affiliate links go right along with my expertise demonstrated in the quality content of the article. I have had several intro coaching requests from my articles and even a few reporters seeking interviews for my local papers.

So the bottom line is that I am up for both challenges. It is a positive thing to keep me held accountable to my promises to maintain quality content everywhere I post on the web. Feel free to click the links within this blog post to join the challenges as you see fit. Leave me a comment if you do decide to join me in creating great content so we can support one another.

Happy Labor Day!!!!