NETWORKING coach and author Misty Henkel is taking her passion for networking to a new level by organising the world’s biggest networking event.
On August 30, Misty is determined for Canberra to make history by breaking the Guinness world record for the most people attending a business speed-networking event in a single location.
“Belgium has held the record for five years and it’s time Canberra took it from them,” says Misty who has arranged for an official from Guinness world records to attend the event at EPIC.
“When I tell people they are hyped up. We are looking for 2000 people to really beat Belgium’s record total of 1068,” she says.
Misty says the art of business networking has been overlooked in recent years with the rise of digital media and marketing, but it still remains an important way to promote business and win new clients.
“People can get nervous at networking events and they don’t know what to do, as they aren’t as practised about speaking about their businesses,” says Misty who has written a book about networking.
“People downplay themselves and say ‘I’m just a financial planner’ or ‘I’m just a hairdresser’… but everyone has a great product and networking can be a great sales opportunity,” she says.
Beginning her career in sales and hospitality, Misty then went on to study sales and says that when she discovered networking it was for her the missing component in her research.
She says she made it her mission to attend every networking event in Canberra and to fully understand how they worked. She went to so many events that people started calling her the “Networking Queen”, she says.
Misty is confident that Canberra can break the record and encourages everyone from all walks of life to come to the world’s biggest networking event, including business people, volunteers, students and stay-at-home parents, and see the opportunities that are on offer in the community.
“We keep forgetting to tell people what we do. There are 35 Toastmaster groups in Canberra. There are 16 Rotary groups and thousands of volunteers. Where are they? There are so many groups and organisations that businesses could do cool things with but we don’t talk about it!” says Misty.
A crowdfunding web page has been created to sell tickets to fund the venue hire and for the official adjudicator to attend. Tickets are sold as doubles so people can bring a friend and don’t have to network alone, says Misty.
“Bring your mum! Let your mum spread your name and get it out there!” suggests Misty.
“Networking can seem scary but this is an opportunity to have fun and get out there. More work will come if you swap cards and make connections with others.”
The World’s Biggest Networking Event, Friday, August 30, at Exhibition Park, Canberra. Tickets from chuffed.org/project/worldsbiggestnetworkingevent
The “Networking Queen’s” top tips…
- Always take plenty of business cards with you to a networking event.
- Aim to collect a minimum of three business cards from others you meet.
- After you leave the event, but before you drive home, email each of your new contacts to say it was nice to meet them.