Last week The Women's Entrepreneurial Network (WEN) has their annual trade show. I decided not to exhibit this year because I feel trapped when I have to stand at a booth. I'd rather be free to mingle. There were many who did not feel this way, in fact WEN had 17 business people on the waiting list for any cancellations.
Now even though I didn't exhibit, I still planned to attend. I wanted to meet as many of the exhibitors as possible and maybe even connect with a few other attendees. I figured I could be in and out in an hour or so. With over 50 exhibitors, I guess my planning was not so realistic. I was also supposed to attend The Toledo Free Press tail-gate party for the opening game of the Toledo Mudhens. I figured I'd just head down from the trade show. Well, 3 1/2 hours later I was still connecting with people. It was fun! And it was productive. People were coming up to me saying that they'd heard about the Certified Networker training and wanted to know more. For me being a participant felt better. Unfortunately, I missed the tail gate party.
One exhibitor that caught my attention was Randa of Sweet Louise Sauces. She and her partner, Steve, had little cups of ice cream that they then covered with their yummy chocolate sauce, Randa's secret recipe. She made it one night when she was rummaging through her kitchen in the midst of a sugar attack! Randa is a new member of WEN, she tested her sauce in another WEN member's test kitchen; found her CPA and attorney through WEN, and received start-up business training from WEN. She's as sold on WEN membership as I am on her sauces! She did say the only exception was that she found Steve on her own.
What groups do you find helpful for your career or business?