Some people hate networking. Others love it. Even though I'm one of those who love getting out and meeting new people, I still don't like the actual term "network" - I think because traditionally, the idea of networking was going out to meet people who could benefit you. I think now networking has become a whole range of things, especially when you have just moved to a new country. It becomes just not just about business, but connecting with people who have similar ideals, lifestyles and beliefs as you. Finding friends, finding your soulmate, finding drinking buddies or if you're lucky you find one person that fits all, hah! But unless you are one of those social butterflies, with no shame or has no qualms of approaching a stranger, sober and saying hello - it can be an uncomfortable and strainful evening trying to find someone interesting to talk to.
Internation events use to be great for networking when I first arrived in town over 3 years ago. I really enjoyed their events and met some of my closest friends through the events and the online forums. Everyone went there for the same reason, to meet people for all different types of reasons. Now it's just turned into one big meat market... I can't talk to man without them assuming I'm hitting on them, or talk to another woman because I'm a woman and irrelevant in her focus for the evening. Not my cup of tea!
So the team from SPNM have come up with SP Night Connect which is pure networking. They help you meet people in a much more relaxed environment, introduce you to people and you get to have a few drinks at the same time. When you confirm your attendance, you fill out a questionnaire so they know what you are looking for and they will actively work that evening to make sure you meet people that you need to meet. It's productive, efficient and you won't leave the evening thinking - what a waste of time!
The next one is on Wednesday 24th April, hosted by PJ Clarkes in Itaim from 8pm onwards. The group will be diverse and dynamic, and if you end up sitting to someone you already know (and don't like), give one of the organisers a nudge so they can move you to another table. It costs R75 per person which includes a welcome drink, and three rounds of appetisers as you sit at each round of introduction and conversation.
Click here for more information.