Lessons from a Community Resource Summit

Last week I attended the Community Resource Summit as a presenter and an exhibitor for the Clovis Chamber of Commerce. I had heard about it before, but until I got a call from one of the organizers, I have to admit that I hadn't thought about attending.

There were many networking lessons learned from this:

  1. Your network will find and suggest opportunities for you that you would not have discovered on your own. I was asked to participate for the Chamber because of the involvement of one of our board members, but then I tapped into my network to find out more about the event before I made the commitment. They all said it would be a good opportunity. Let other people's experience guide your choices.

  2. There are industries, professions and groups of people you haven't begun to tap into. I had no idea how many non-profits we have here in the valley and how much work so many of them do. I would not have been able to learn about these organizations and their activities so easily in one place without the event.

  3. You might think you know "everyone" but you don't. I spend the majority of my time networking with people who are in very similar circles. So I usually know quite a few people wherever I go. It would be easy to think that this "microcosm" is the entire business world. Events that are outside your usual are a great way to be reminded that there is always room to expand your network.

  4. Social networking and social media are still very new to many people. I presented to a group of about 50 people who mainly represent non-profits. Some have taken small steps into Facebook for themselves personally but are still looking for ways to expand their usage to help their organizations. I think that social media sites are a powerful tool for these organizations to leverage their resources.
If you work with a non-profit organization, I recommend that you put this on your calendar for next year. It usually takes place in early September, so put it in your tickler file for August.

And, if you'd like a copy of the slide show that I presented at the event, you can get it at http://www.slideshare.net/BethBridges/social-media-as-a-networking-tool-for-non-profits

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