Last night I took my annual trip to watch the Orlando Magic outmuscle Cleveland; but this blog is not about the game and the excitement surrounding the arena. Today’s entrée is about halftime…no not about the great flippers putting on a show; it’s about discovering the perfect networking opportunity. Hmmm, how many thought I was going that route?
Halftime came and the atmosphere was filled with smiles and energetic non-tangibles. Knowing most were in a good mood, I decided to walk around and begin speaking to people open to conversation. Come to think of it, there was a common bond uniting everyone at the arena—could there be a better time to meet and greet? The fact I knew little about the game itself didn’t seem to matter.
Walking through the arena, I stepped up to several people, began talking about Dwight Howard and Lebron James and the gates of conversation broke without abandon. “Really great players and what a contest,” I began. Faces lit immediately as those in front were looking for an outlet to express their passion for the game. Without pause, I met two executives, one regional sales manager, and a slew of mid-level managers working throughout various industries (all in about 12 minute’s time!).
Wow, I could hardly believe how a common setting, an energetic atmosphere, and a load of people could create such opportunity. Of the people I spoke to, five shared their business cards – I handed out over 15 cards myself….leading to the title of the entry, the NBA: it’s more than a game; it’s a networking bonanza!
No matter your career level, take advantage of your environment. One thing I found out this evening was people WANT to talk to you. With the Super Bowl in a few days, all you have to do is mention how them Dallas Cowboys are gonna rock the world (oh no, can you tell I don’t know much about football either?).
Hey, gotta go. My phone is ringing off the wall! Don’t recognize the number—bet it’s a fellow NBA fan from last night.