Fool-Proof DIY Networking

When the word networking comes up, sometimes the first reaction is the same as being told can you give a presentation to 100 people on XYZ - people get nervous and think of it as a chore they know they have to do but don't always want to do.

Worry no more because there is a great way to network within the comfort of friends and soon-to-be friends, here is our recipe to success:

  • Whether it is you alone or with a friend, think of no more than 10 people you would like to bring together. They may have professional and personal interests in common and then again they may not.
  • If you host a get together with a friend, each of you should be responsible for half of the invites.
  • It is extremely beneficial if the invitees don't know each other or may be familiar but not that well . This is not girlfriend outing time and no one person should feel like the new kid on the block, everyone should feel new to each other.
  • Balance your invites with your outgoing and your introvert/shy associates. For the friend you have been trying to get out to events or who expresses displeasure of networking this will be a great and safe environment to get them started.
  • Pick a tea house or brunch venue to have the event. There are many inexpensive brunch venues on the weekends and tea houses just have a natural good environment for conversations.
  • Oh and yes have it on the weekend vs. after work so everyone can be clear minded and rested.
  • Work with the venue to establish a pre-fix menu if they don't have . Many restaurants that have a brunch menu have a set price and tea houses usually have a scone, finger sandwich and cookies/dessert platter. The last thing you want to think about after a good chat is diving the bill. Provide the group with the cost that will factor in tax and tip prior to the event. Example: At Alice Teacup we did the Mad Hatters and it worked out to about $22 including tax and tip and all invitees were made aware that was the food setting being order, but of course can choose their types of sandwiches, scones, etc.
  • Be a superb host. Have everyone introduce themselves, but don't be shy about gluing them together. Tell them why they were invited and what you knew they had in common with others - be the connector!
  • Secret to success: Is that its a small manageable group where real conversations can be had. It is personal and there is nothing like receiving a personal invite
With the weather clearing up, go out there and plan a networking brunch/tea house event. Below are some suggestions based on experience:
  • Alice's Tea Cup: There are several locations now. I found success at the 64th street & Lexington one because its bigger
  • Franchia: This is a vegetarian Korean tea house. Great for your a group that is particularly health conscious and includes vegans/vegetarians. Not for meat lovers.
  • Coco Rocco: Two locations in Brooklyn, a darn good cheap and tasty brunch $9.95. You will love it.
  • Libations: I just had brunch here today for such an event. Never knew they served food...lol. Delicious brunch means for $19. (I can speak for the steak and eggs - yummy)
  • Tea Map: This is a GREAT resource to find local area tea houses. I used it many times.
  • Google these venues and sites. There were errors in linking the sites to the page. Thank you