by Laura Howe, CMP
The hospitality industry is a magnet for networking. So why is it so hard to meet the right people? When I say the right people, I mean the authentic kind. The type of people who through genuine camaraderie become walking, talking advertisements for one another.
Professional networking is more than just a LinkedIn profile or exchanging a business card. So, how do you meet the “authentic” people out there? Join an association. Take advantage of the networking prospects you have access to right now.
I’ve been a member of SPIN, for years. In the beginning, I was a LinkedIn member who would occasionally read the posts but never engage. Years later, I elevated my membership and began participating in the educational offerings. Amazed with the topics and candor from the members, I knew this was an association that was building people up to succeed and I wanted more. Presently, I have upped the ante again and have volunteered within SPIN as their Director of Membership. The amount of like-minded, intelligent, professional and did I mention FUN people that I have encountered and have access to is well…priceless! I attended SPINCon for the first time last year (and now I am officially hooked.) Cultivating a professional network doesn’t happen overnight. It sure didn’t happen like that for me. I am a firm believer that you get what you put in - you must make an investment of time and effort in the association and become involved. In the spirit of leveraging your network, I am reminded of a fellow bloggers quote, “Learn to enjoy the networking for the satisfaction of helping others, the pride in seeing your contacts succeed, the friendships that form. And learn that sometimes "paying it forward" has rewards.” ¹ Be the “authentic” kind!
As the Director of Membership for SPIN, I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to remind everyone that SPIN has eliminated membership dues for all qualified members until the end of 2016. It has also waived registration fees for all member events and activities in 2016, including its annual North American conference; SPINCon. Visit http://www.spinplanners.com and sign up today! This is a great way to expand your professional network.
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Kathie Niesen, CMP
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