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Help Your Attendees Make Friends—Not Contacts

Friendships will outweigh the best education

My first boss was a bit of a networking addict. Not only was she giddy in the lead-up to an event, but the day after, she’d tell everyone in the office who she met and proudly show us the stack of business cards she had collected—which she would then promptly place in her meticulously organized Rolodex.

There was a method to her networking madness. If you looked closely at the business cards she collected, you’d find notes on them about where she had met the person, their areas of expertise, and even some things the two of them shared in common. After the event, she made it a habit to follow up via phone or email with the three people she most connected with. And if they continued to hit it off, she might arrange for coffee or cocktails.

Her dedication was impressive, and it paid off for her. She always said she made close friends and business contacts this way.

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