Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Networking ...

When your face is at the windscreen and your head is nearly through the roof, it doesn't mean you'll arrive at your destination any sooner!

That was the ditty I was chanting in my head when, this morning, I was once again on the last minute, zig-zagging my way through short cuts, trying to get to a Creative Perspective Patent and Trademark seminar slash network meet. Arriving at the correct street without the aid of a satellite navigation system and with ten minutes to spare calmed my psyche for a nano-second.  The street had been re-defined and was now barely a component of the newly styled one-way system. At the car park [two sets of traffic lights and a pelican crossing later], I had to alight from the car, make an olympic dash to a visitor desk, provide identification, sign a form, collect a badge and car park pass - to be placed on the dash in the car which was now resting comfortably in an iced puddle at the other end of the car park. Skating to the car, I slipped, [knew it was coming] pasted the badge on inside screen, then teetered to the opposite end of the university campus to gain access to the reception.

And no, the story doesn't end there. The three day industry convention was clearly the university's best kept secret. Even the receptionist didn't know about the lecture theatre's onslaught [I was hoping the inclement weather had made everyone else late too]. The secret, proven by the fact that I had been despatched to a specific circular lecture theatre and arrived mid song in the darkened venue with 30 tuned drama students raising their arms to the midnight. In true Miranda style, I looked back at the swing doors - as if it had been their fault but for the sake of the students, avoided an aside. A large woman with a badge and a friendly face [don't let the facts get in the way of a good story - she was only a size 12] ushered me from the building and pointed to another. Any. But not hers. Great, another icy fandango across the quadrant to what looked like my pre-war infant school of days gone by. Inside, a light aircraft on display. A light aircraft on display? Yes. And another man with a badge. Perhaps he could help? No. He was ingratiated with some sort of archive. A light at the end of a tunnel shone onto an A4 poster belittled by it's size 10 font:

Creative Perspective Convention  

Hoo - ray! I had arrived. Ten minutes late. I snook into the silenced room where a quiet man with a grey voice was telling his story. It was a good story. The man had created a truly successful hi-tech business. He proffered plenty of advice, motivating tips and suggestions. And then ... in a flash ... it ended. Everyone may have lived happily ever after, but I would never know. The audience scrambled out as if a school bell had rung for a fire alarm or the summer recess. I was left on my own at the back of the room. The quiet man whispered to another man with a badge then left.

So the moral of the story is ... Don't be late if you want to network.

  • Find out about transport, location and parking before the event
  • Know exactly where you're going [phone up or email first for details]
  • Estimate how long your journey will take - including parking time
  • Always allow yourself extra time for delays
* Don't let the stress of traffic delays affect your driving or speed.

Happy networking,