The word ‘community’ is defined as a group of people living in the same place OR having a particular characteristic in common. Northern Nevada is home to several organizations characterized by a unique intersection of living in proximity and sharing the same professional values and ambitions – they each represent ‘community’ in every sense of the word.
The act of registering and paying membership dues won’t inherently equate to full immersion in any networking community. Here are some easy-to-implement strategies centered on getting the most out of any professional organization.
1. Show Up!
Be it to the gym for your health, the classroom for your degree, or a networking event for your career – the first step is to show up. This is news to no one. However, a surprising number of people express that there’s never enough time in the workweek to attend a Nonprofit Luncheon or and evening event for Entrepreneurs. With so many local events every month, there is no excuse to miss out.
Why pay and be part of a networking group if there’s no time for networking? Our region boasts a plethora of distinctive events featuring different local speakers on countless thought-provoking and relevant topics. Event schedules and invites are so abundant, they are hard to avoid – plan ahead and show up!
2. Focus on Relationship-Building
Virtually all our local networking organizations strive to foster an environment that emphasizes meeting new people, sparking stimulating conversations and inciting friendships.
The key is to LEAN IN!
Spoiler Alert: Strangers will come talk to you at networking events. It happens every time without fail. For an introvert, this may be unnerving, and it may feel counterintuitive to engage – but, alas! When one on one conversations begin, and make way for relationships to form, business opportunities AND friendships are likely to follow.
3. Come with an Open Mind
Many organizations operate in the scope of their overarching goals or industry-specific foundations. Even if that industry is unfamiliar or unrelated to your career, don’t assume there’s no value in joining. All that’s required to participate and find value is the willingness to learn something new.
Often, networking events and keynote presentations aim to expose the audience to something unique. Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes look at a lesser-known industry, or an exclusive tour of an innovative start-up, our local events are both informative and inspiring. Arrive willing to absorb some cool information and you undoubtedly will leave having done so.
4. Give Feedback
An organization’s success can largely a testament to its emphasis on continual improvement based on feedback. If you’ve been to an event, you’ve surely been told several times to fill out a survey. Even to the most well-established and respected organizations, ALL feedback is valuable. Those who offer ideas and suggestions not only help to better the event offerings, but they feel more invested and more a part of whatever professional community they choose to invest their time in.
Andrea Quiruz is the Corporate Partnerships Manager for the Barracuda Championship and NCET’s VP of Special Events. The Barracuda Championship is a PGA TOUR Golf tournament in Reno. https://barracudachampionship.com/.
NCET is a member-supported non-profit that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.