January is coming to a close and Groundhog Day is getting nearer. As we sit and patiently await our favorite rodent's prediction of our happiness over the next few months, I had some time to reflect on how Philadelphia Housewives has helped me to avoid a Groundhog Day situation and how it might help you too.
When I first started networking with my event planning business, I was really focused on connecting with people who were specific to my industry. This was great, because it allowed me to meet other professionals in my industry who were doing what I was doing, who understood my market, etc. After a while though, I realized that I'd need to do more in order to grow my network further. Why? The same faces were showing up at all of the event-related networking opportunities I was going to. It's hard to meet new people when new people aren't around to meet.
Cue Philadelphia Housewives.
When I took over the blog, I was excited to learn about the monthly Girls Night Out portion because of my passion for events. I had no idea that this would also be the cure for my networking woes.
I was always too intimated to attend business networking events that would connect me with more corporate professionals because my own background is creative and I felt way too out of my element. The beauty of our GNOs is that they offer the opportunity to network in a laid-back and casual setting that makes everyone feel comfortable, regardless of professional or personal background. While sipping a drink and shopping from local businesses, we're making meaningful connections with people we might not have otherwise met. Not everyone that attends our events represents a business or an organization... some people just come to have fun... and sometimes even those who do come from a business background want to attend our events to spend time with friends vs. networking directly. Whichever reason you attend, you'll get something out of it.
At a traditional networking event, it's sort of assumed that everybody is in business and if you stop and close your eyes you can hear about at least five different elevator pitches going on at one time.
"I'm going to the beach next month, do you have any tropical patterned dresses?", "That shade of lipstick looks great on you! Hi, I'm...", "Oh, which mojito did you get? I love mine!".
THESE are the conversations you'll hear at a Philadelphia Housewives Girls Night Out, and this is what it's all about. Women coming together to build friendships and strong connections, to support local businesses and to genuinely enjoy themselves.
Here's the honest truth about networking: You can distribute business cards and shake hands until you can't feel your fingers, but the best connections are those fostered in friendship.
I went into Philadelphia Housewives with an "all business" mentality; however, it's turned into so much more than that. Each month, I look forward to seeing familiar faces and welcoming new ones. I've sat down to dinner with some of you post-event, enjoy seeing your adventures on Instagram and love when we get to cheer one another on when there's a new success or something exciting in our lives. Not only have I made friends through Housewives, but I've seen you make friends too. Do you know how awesome that is!?
We're building a community of women who support one another both personally and professionally.
If you feel like you've been stuck in a rut, and living out your own version of Groundhog Day, I encourage you to join us some time. We'll grab a drink with you as you regale the story of your toddler and the crayon he got a hold of earlier in the day. We'll sit down to dinner with you and talk about marketing and reaching new clients. We'll shop with you and together will connect with new local businesses. We'll be friends first, meaningful business relationships second.