Networking At Convening Leaders Conference

An Interesting Networking Experience at the PCMA Convening Leaders Conference
By PCMA-TRU Member Katie Kershaw
January 19th, 2015

In this day and age, it’s not about what you know – it’s about who you know.

Networking has become essential to students entering the workforce. So picture me – a student – wandering amongst a room of event management professionals. I’m at a networking event, and I feel very intimidated.

I spot a friendly face and decide to approach her. Or at least, I thought that she would be friendly. She introduces herself as a meeting planner for the Association of Urologists. Thinking that sounds pretty cool, I tell her that I am also interested in planning meetings, and ask her what a “urologist” is. Pretty simple question, right? Well, maybe not. Her partner announces that on that note, he’ll be leaving, and then he just walks out the door. I’m left standing there with the meeting planner, who is clearly uncomfortable. She tells me that a urologist is a doctor that specializes in urine samples, and promptly walks out the door as well.

I couldn’t believe that an industry professional could be so embarrassed of her employer that she would create such an awkward situation. I didn’t want this encounter to ruin my day, so I made a point to talk to many more people, and found myself having really great conversations. I ended up going home with a big stack of business cards. Networking events don’t come with a satisfaction guarantee, but it’s important to put yourself out there anyway. And if it doesn’t work out, who knows – it might make for a pretty funny story in the future.

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