Below you’ll find a bounty of networking events being hosted throughout the metro DC region this February.
The list comes courtesy of Inkandescent Networking, a new service from Inkandescent Public Relations.
But before we get to the meat of the matter, here are some tips for your networking success from veteran networking Alice Waagen, who has learned hard way what to do — and not do — to maximize her networking effectiveness. Here’s to your networking success!
The Antidote to the Rubber Chicken Dinner
By Dr. Alice Waagen, Workforce Learning, LLC
Networking can intimidate the most outgoing among us. So in the 15 years I have spent attending horribly boring dinners (where rubbery chicken with some kind of sticky gravy and a side of flavorless beans was the entree), I have come up with a quick and dirty checklist of what to do (and not do) to maximize my ntworking effectiveness, budget, and time.
1. Know what you hope to achieve, and have a strategy to get you there. Set goals, then outline specific actions and activities that will feed specific goals. Don’t just hopscotch around the city attending events on a whim. Do your homework.
2. Inventory your circle of influence: family, community, professional. List the groups, meetings, people you have regular contact with in each of these domains. This is your current network inventory. See where you spend the most time and effort, and expand where needed to meet your goals.
3. Wear a jacket with pockets. Your biz cards go in the right-hand pocket; those you receive go in the left. Pin a nametag on your right lapel so it’s seen when you’re shaking hands.
4. Start conversations with open-ended questions. “What has kept you busy lately?” (good); “How are you?” (bad). Be interesting, and interested in the answer.
5. Eat before you come. Juggling a plate of apps will distract you from having meaningful conversations. Opt for water, not wine. If you must imbibe to relax, keep it to one glass.
6. Networking is about building relationships. Go for quality rather than quantity. If you look at a business card the day after an event and cannot remember the person or conversation, the contact will have limited value for you.
7. Follow up after the event. Depending on the level intimacy that you felt, use the following as an etiquette guide:
• Email: For a brand-new relationship.
• Phone call: For brand-new but with some connection.
• Have coffee: When the relationship has been established.
• Have lunch: When you know the person well.
• Do dinner: With a very close colleague.
Inkandescent Networking: February 2011
February 1, 4:30-7 pm
NAWBO: A Woman’s Place Is on the Contract
With the federal government opening up new opportunities for women-owned businesses, this event features Bridget Bean, Director of the DC office of the Small Business Administration. With moderator Judy Bradt, CEO of Summit Insight, she’ll share ideas on how you can better work with the government sector.
Cost: $60, early bird; $70, walk-ins
Location: Morton’s Steakhouse, 8075 Leesburg Pike, Tyson’s
Click here to register: www.nawbogreaterdc.com.
February 1, 8 am-12:30 pm
Oracle: Business Showcase 2011
In today’s economic climate, having an accurate, all-encompassing view of your organization’s performance is critical to making timely, fact-based decisions. Oracle’s Business Intelligence customers will be discussing how they are using Oracle’s innovative Business Intelligence Solutions to accelerate decision-making.
Cost: FREE! But space is limited.
Location: Reston Hyatt Regency, 1800 Presidents Street, Reston
To register call: 800-820-5592 ext. 8624
February 8, 5:30-8:30 pm — Capital Cabal: Second Tuesdays Schmooze Salon and Professional Networking
This easy-going monthly networking event attracts local business owners and heads of start-ups, web firms, politicos, PR firms, and nonprofits. Casual, fun, and the door prizes are terrific.
Location: Kabaji Grill, 1351 Connecticut Avenue NW, DC
Click here to register: www.capcabal.net/2ndTuesday
February 8, 7:30-9 am
Alexandria Chamber: Professional Networking Breakfast
This is a great opportunity to meet 50-75 like-minded business professionals before the workday begins. A roundtable approach allows participants to exchange business cards, develop prospects, and share a 60-second pitch.
Cost: $35, members; $45, non-members, walk-ins
Location: Tempo Restaurant, 4231 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA
Click here to register: www.alexchamber.com/events
February 9, 6-8 pm
Bisnow: Back to Business Super Schmooze
The attendance at these events is spectacular. Nearly 650 folks have already signed up, representing real estate, tech, legal, and nonprofit groups. There is no other place in the city where you can make as many connections in one night.
Cost: $59, covers open bar, food from 20 top restaurants
Location: National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, DC
Click here to register: www.bisnow.com/events
February 10, 7:30-9 am
Loudoun Chamber: Business Showcase Breakfast
About 150 Chamber members, new and old, show up at this monthly, signature, roundtable in Ashburn. Considered the Chamber’s best networking event of the year, anyone looking to do business in Loudoun should attend.
Cost: $25, members; $35, non-members, walk-ins
Location: Belmont Country Club, 19661 Belmont Manor Lane
Click here to register: www.loudounchamber.org/html/events
February 10, 7:30-9 am
Arlington Chamber: Breakfast Connection
The breakfast focuses on roundtable power networking, and provides attendees the chance to exchange business cards and develop new prospects.
Cost: $23, members; $33, prospective members
Location: Knights of Columbus, 5115 Little Falls Rd., Arlington, VA
February 17, 11-1:30 pm
Sterling Women Networking Luncheon
At this monthly networking luncheon for businesswomen, hear Anne Day McCabe Triana, a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselo with CAM Wealth Strategies, help the audience feel more confident and secure about their financial future.
Cost: $49 (display tables are available at an additional cost)
Location: 18980 Upper Belmont Place, Leesburg VA
Click here to register: www.sterlingwomen.org
February 17, 5-7 pm
Arlington Chamber: Business After Business
This monthly Chamber event is held at a local Arlington establishment where members learn more about the member hosting the event and get the chance to meet new people and network. You can win prizes, including cash from the mounting jackpot available each month.
Cost: $20, members; $30, prospective members
Location: Hilton Garden Inn Shirlington 4271 Campbell Ave., Arlington, VA
February 17, 5:30-7:30 pm
DC Chamber: Networking Reception
The DC Chamber hosts a monthly after-hours networking that promises to help networkers — from novice to experienced — increase their business connections. The venue for this month’s event is said to be one of the city’s best kept secrets: President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldier’s Home. Click here to read about that abode in this month’s Leadership column.
Cost: $40, members; $65, non-members, walk-ins
Location: President Lincoln’s Cottage, 3700 N Capitol Street, DC
Click on the Events tab to register: www.dcchamber.org
February 18, 8:30-10 am
Breakfast with the Washington Business Journal
If you track the happenings in DC’s business market, join editors and tons of business leaders at this monthly breakfast event. Hot coffee and interesting business conversation is plentiful.
Location: Capital Conference Center, 3601 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
Click here to register: www2.bizjournals.com
February 18, 11:45 am-1:30 pm
The Syndicate: February Luncheon
In an era of splintered networking, The Syndicate is offering a unique group focused on the needs of men in today’s increasingly challenging workspace. This month’s speaker is Michael McCarthy, Editor-in-Chief of Washington Flyer Magazine.
Location: Syrah at the Reston Sheraton, 11810 Sunrise Valley
Click here to register: www.thesyndicateva.com
February 23, 11:45 am-1 pm
Arlington Chamber: Small Business Roundtabl
Jim Whelan, an expert strategic planner with the ProActive Corporation of America, will facilitate a discussion on the topic: “Need Help Running Your Business?” A representative of Marymount’s Business School will describe the benefits of the school’s Intern Program.
Location: Chamber Board Room 2009 14th St. N. Suite 111, Arlington, VA
February 24, 7:30-10:30 am
Greater Reston Chamber: Virtual Realty Tour
Learn to differentiate your properties with the help of Northern Virginia’s premier commercial realtors. Showcase your portfolio and attract new tenants at this event, which is always a sell-out with major corporate execs, government folks, and commercial brokers.
Cost: $45, members; $75, non-members, walk-ins
Location: Reston Hyatt Regency, 1800 Presidents Street, Reston
Click here to register: www.restonchamber.org
February 24, 4-7 pm
Success in the City: Power Up Your Brand
Zap, kapow, shazam! Don your super-hero cape as Red Thinking’s Jen Sterling, Balance Interactive’s Tracy Betts, and Speaker Box Communications’ Elizabeth Shea offer marketing and Web tips.
Cost: $45, members; $65, non-members, walk-ins
Location: Ameriprise Financial, 8045 Leesburg Pike, #500, Vienna
Click here to register: www.successinthecity.org