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Social networks have become de rigueur for working new career contacts. With users that number in the millions, LinkedIn, Mixi and other sites allow professionals around the world to connect with colleagues past and present—expanding networks to numbers never before possible. But project managers should not forget the importance of in-person networking where connections are more personal and impressions longer lasting. The next time you attend a networking event, remember these five tips:
1. Focus on your audience.
2. Go in prepared.
3. Make connections from the executive suite on down.
4. Follow up right away.
5. Never pass up an opportunity to connect.
At the last Tucson dinner meeting, we had a lively discussion and Q/A session after Imagine Greater Tucson's presentation. Whether you agreed with their data and conclusions or not, there is no doubt that the topic is an important one for all of us who live in Tucson. So, some follow-on questions:
1. While the IGT presentation did cover project management topics like stakeholder involvement, communications etc., it was not a "strong" project management presentation. Should the chapter offer local-interest presentations relevant to chapter members, even if the project management content is less than normal?
2. As a professional group in Tucson (and Sierra Vista), what can/should we be doing to participate in community based activities, to contribute to the area's future success?