One of the most exciting aspects of the extensive travelling I have done over the past year and half has been all of the new people I’ve crossed paths with. My summer backpacking in Europe introduced me to a whole new circle of friends, many of which remain my closest friends today. Travelling here in the states just the past month alone I’ve met everyone from the keyboardist in Carlos Santana’s band, to the head of the IT department for See’s Candies Inc, to a Nashville based videographer who manages a Youtube channel with over 1 million views of up and coming bands. Taking the time to get to know the person sitting next to you at the bar or on the airplane can open up opportunities you never would of had access to otherwise.
(Photo Credit: futurescape)
My focus for the summer is to expand on these seemingly random interactions and develop a core network of contacts within the marketing, tech, and music communities. Attending themed networking events is one of the best ways to meet new professional contacts, and below is a list of just a few in the area that I plan to attend over the coming months.
LA2M - Weekly Ann Arbor marketing lunch gathering. I’ve actually been meaning to attend this for quite some time but never forced myself to get in the car and make it happen. This will soon change.
Insights and Masterminders- The Brighton, MI based social media marketing gurus, Insights Group, holds a weekly evening roundtable discussion they’ve dubbed “Masterminding”. I first attended one of these sessions after meeting Insights co-founder, Sandi Maki, on a plane ride (read about that story here) from NYC. The meetings are generally unscripted and discussions range from business strategy to broader philosophy on life and achieving your goals. Fascinating stuff that forces you to look in the mirror and ask yourself why you’re not doing what you truly love.
I will continue to travel the US throughout the summer, and with each new city brings a whole new set of networking opportunities. Spending just a few minutes during trip preparation to look up industry meetups and events is a sure way to put you in front of some quality professional contacts.
Get out there and market yourself!