Rebecca Page

Blunders in Networking

Arriving late, knocking over a chair in the middle of the room, and tripping over your own feet is a spectacular way of making an entrance to a sold-out conference.  That was the memorable way I kicked off the recent Women in Business Conference, an annual event organized by the inspiring Sandra Tisiot. I’ve attended several times, and it is always a rewarding experience.

My blunders in networking continued. My date for the conference was my friend and colleague Deanna White. I had told her we were seated at table 7, and as I tripped my way through the crowded room, I saw her waiting for me there. After settling into my chair, I noticed that all the tables had beautiful grab bags. All the tables but ours. I whispered a “what gives?” to Deanna, who whispered back that we had special purple bags stashed under our chairs.

Of course, we were special! My company Concierge Home Services, was one of the event sponsors, so I thought that a table with special grab bags was a sponsorship perk. I turned my attention to the first speaker, then the second, and didn’t peek in my bag.

Good thing I didn’t. At the break, Sandra came over to me and sweetly told me we were at the wrong table. We were at the speakers table, hence the special purple grab bags. “Don’t take the bag – it isn’t for you.”

Oops.

Sometimes, accidents are just another word for serendipity. I had brought Deanna her (very belated) Christmas gift – a copy of the book Feminine Capital. It just so happens, that 2 of the speakers sitting at our table were the authors of that very same book. Deanna chatted with them both and got her copy personally autographed. They made a great connection.

Even when there are blunders in networking, it is still valuable.