Ok, I’ll have to make this really quick and short as I’m catching my sleeping time and have to wake up early in the morning. 🙂
It’s my first time to attend the Business Rocks event organized by Gina Romero’s Athena network. The speaker of the night was the always-funny, quirky and hyperactive Charlotte Ong who founded the company Digital Boomerang. She and her team interestingly described how THE life in Digital Boomerang is and the unconventional practices that they have in the office such as the golden ticket, the breakfast club (did I get it right?) , and open accounts, among others. Her team seems to be very cohesive and is really having a lot of fun working. I’d like to drop by their office on a Friday and experience these stuffs that they mentioned, and yes Charlotte herself invited the people there to visit their office during Fridays. 🙂
So the talk is just one part of my story, the other part is the networking thing. My original intention is to attend the event and just observe. I don’t mind standing in one corner and observing the people how they interact, how they start a conversation or how they keep a conversation. But that plan didn’t really happen all throughout the night. It’s a business networking event, so it would be rude if somebody approaches me and I’ll just say hello and move to the other corner of the room, right? Besides, Rowena and Jonha, THE Community Manager, were there so it was easier to turn to them once I have exhausted my “prepared” topics for conversations.
I met a few people there: Douglas, who’s working in Signetique, which coincidentally is the webhost of one of my clients’ website; Reto, who works in a bank and who is going to launch some cool iPhone stuffs; Ram, the founder of Infini Technologies and who didn’t have his own business card and used his colleague’s; Himanshu (totally forgot his name, I apologize!) who is working in a consulting company and is running his own company about corporate rewards; and Ruben from Estellion, who is helping foreign companies in registering their businesses in Singapore, something like corporate secretary if I’m not mistaken.
Even if I got entertained while talking to these people, I still managed to come up with my list of observations on how NOT to be a rock during the Business Rocks, some of you may agree, some of you may not, and you can just laugh about it 🙂
1. When you’re coming in alone and know no one, look for a table that has one or two empty spaces. It’s easier to squeeze yourself in.
2. If you’re going to squeeze yourself in, make sure that there’s an almost equal number of male or female in the group. I don’t know, but some people can easily start a conversation with a girl while some with a guy.
3. Bring your glass of beer and start with this, “Hi guys, what are you all discussing?”
4. Listen while someone explains what they were originally discussing, but at the same time look for someone you can do a one-to-one conversation with. It’s easier to talk to one person especially if you’re not really used to shouting.
5. If it’s a business event, you can start talking about the biz that you are interested in. It’s not really an issue if you start asking about the weather or the food in Singapore, but they probably have answered those questions a million times, and besides, it’s a BUSINESS event not “getting-to-know-your-favorites” activity, you can always use Facebook wall for that. 😉
6. If you feel that the other person is more talkative than you, give way and be a good listener. I’m sure his/her stories will come to an end sooner or later, either that or his/her voice box will give up. When it happens, then it’s your time to shine. 🙂
7. It’s easier to talk to one person first because if your topic is really interesting to the group, the rest will stop talking and will start listening to your conversation. Then, you get the floor…not that you want it!
8. Bring your own business card, regardless whether it’s your daytime company’s card or your own card, or why not try Blake Mycoskie’s style: he uses other people’s business card, strikes out the name there and replaces with his. It might look rude but it might also show to others that you’re very earth-friendly and knows how to recycle, or maybe not. 🙂
9. Be sober. When you’re almost drunk but not really drunk, it becomes easier to talk and start asking questions that you’d probably never ask when the Great Wall of Shyness is infront of you.
10. When you leave, make the proper exit. Don’t just turn your back from the group and go ninja.
Do you think these tips will work for you? 🙂