In November of last year I decided to throw a networking party at my place to get all my amazing lady friends, most of which are business owners themselves, to meet, chat and have a good time all while making new connections. Being an avid networker, I meet a lot of fantastic people on a regular basis. One thing that had occurred to me, is that traditional or more formal networking groups seemed to attract the same industries or professions. My theory being that networking groups can feel intimidating or alienating to some, especially if you don’t have a “mainstream” profession or business. My main goal for the evening was to create a setting which I thought could open the door to people who wouldn’t normally think of networking. The idea was to create a very informal setting (*more of a party really*) where people could come and discuss business or not – no pressure. Oh – and I decided to make it for women only – sorry guys! So, I kicked my family out for the night and made room in my very small space to accommodate 30 of us! The place was buzzing until the wee hours of the morning, and we were all vibrating from the beautiful energy in the room for weeks after! The word spread very quickly, and the very next day, I started receiving emails asking me when the next one was going to happen! Huh – I hadn’t even thought of having a next one!
A few months passed and I decided to launch another evening of the sort. The demand was so high, that space became an issue and I had to find a venue! I grew the event and got a few sponsors on board to help with cost and marketing. Nicole Sims created a beautiful poster and promotional pieces, and Terry Zlot was the printer extraordinaire! We held the second evening, again for women only at the Cornerstone Café in Fernwood, on the last Friday of March 2009. It was an RSVP evening and we capped it at 55 people. The lovely Rosie Bitts was the surprise performance for the night. Jenna Tye captured the evening perfectly with her amazing photography. Again, everyone had a great time – the only complaint being that it was just too short! The costs of the evening had escalated suddenly, and we could really only afford the venue for a few hours. This was definitely something I had to fix the next time around. Read more about the March event in the May 2009 Village Vibe article.
Well, it’s now time for the next one! The first round of invitations has been sent, but there is still room. The next evening will be held on Friday July 31st, 2009, at the Union Pacific Coffee House on Herald Street. Our host Jim is excited to welcome a room full of fantastic ladies! We have grown again! Our email list has grown exponentially to well over 200 interested people. We will cap the event at 60 people, and so it will definitely be a question of reserving your spot quickly! I am excited to announce that we have a few new sponsors on board which will make this event even greater, as well as help with the collecting of funds for the Bridges for Women Society. The evening will commence at 7pm, and our venue will close its doors just passed midnight! Yeah!
Here are some of the photos Jenna took of the evening. All images © Jenna Shouldice Photography.