Networking events just got easier.
You have high-potential social network connections you’ve never met in person. Everyone does. Now you can network over breakfast face to face with these Perfect Strangers. All you risk is the cost of an omelet, but you might gain one or two valuable referrals/clients/resources. Great cost/benefit ratio, yes?
First, sign up for the Perfect Strangers Breakfast Network on LinkedIn. It’s an open group, free, and growing. Next, check out LinkedIn Events to see if there’s a breakfast scheduled at a time and place that works for you. If not, start one! LinkedIn will manage invitations, RSVPs, inquiries, etc. Finally, invite other people from all your personal social networks. Invite them to invite others, who can invite others.
At the breakfast, one person gets to be timekeeper, and everybody gets 5 minutes (total!) to pass out business cards, explain what they do, and describe who the perfect referral would be for them that day. A prospect? Vendor? Employee? Employer? Expert? Resource?
We started the PSBN LinkedIn group, and had the first breakfasts in our area (Chicago). They were interesting, lively and productive. Want to get this working in your city? Join the group, recruit others, and schedule a place with good omelets on the Events page! After, tell PSBN how well it went, add ideas to improve the concept, hints for effective recruiting … even good breakfast places to choose!
Please share this with your whole contact list via email, Twitter, Facebook and (especially) LinkedIn. The more the merrier.
Brilliant idea – would love to see it take off on this side of the pond (though lunch may be a better bet, particularly for working mothers!), and I can visualise lots of interesting applications in the field of major donor giving… Thanks, Bob, as always for a really interesting and thought provoking post
Surprisingly, breakfasts are easier to schedule than lunches, even well in advance. And the format (6 people x 5 minutes) make it a quick commitment. Go for it! We’ll soon put together some tools to make it easier to organize. (Watch for perfectstrangersbreakfast.net)
I love this idea. I cannot offer to be the organizer at this time but will definitely participate if it gets started in my area (Phoenix).
I think the idea of getting together for breakfast or lunch with perfect strangers who want to network through your Linkedin Group in person is a wonderful idea.
But, why limit yourself to place to eat? Or, why must everyone go to a physical location at a specific time? Why not also have meetings that are virtual – via computer? Skype now has Skype Premium. Not only can you talk and see each other, you can view slides and video in real time with each other. Oddly enough, you can do more through a virtual meeting than you can one that is face-to-face. You can even as a group work on a Prezi.com presentation. That is really awesome!
I think this is a terrific idea ! Lunch might work better for me since I live out in suburbs and work downtown. Great way to meet new people and see if you can help each other out !
The problem with lunch is … everybody gets booked up, or gets a client phone call at 11:52, or or or…
But look at your calendar for, say, next week: how many 8am time slots are taken? It’s so much easier to gather six people on the same day at breakfast than at noon.
I think this is a great idea. You never know who you might meet that has just the right job or connection for a job. Some people have a lot of good ideas also. I love talking to different people and getting to know them.
This is an excellent idea; there are people I would genuinely like to know. I would be interested as well.