I Network Like I’m on Vacation

Chris Muellenbach  |  June 23, 2022

This isn’t an attempt to be deep or profound. Simply a little self-realization.

I was attending a networking function earlier in the week. My friends at the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce hold a monthly networking event called the Muster. This month, the Muster was held at Central Standard Crafthouse and Kitchen.

I’ve been attending networking events for decades, but what I realized thinking back on this event is, my network style is similar to how I prefer to go on vacation.

What do I mean?

When I go on a vacation, I prefer one city/country and staying put. I try to understand the culture, meet some of the locals, relax, and feel as though I learned more about the place than the average tourist.

Others prefer to hit as many cities or countries as they can. 

Neither is wrong. I enjoy hearing about your vacation regardless of how you do it.  

What hit me last night is how similar my networking style is to my preferred vacation.

I’m comfortable at events where there are a lot of people I don’t know, situations like that often energize me. Thinking back on this event, I realized I prefer to meet and talk to a handful of people and get to know them a bit. Some of the people I talk to are comfortable with this approach, others start to get impatient and scan the room for the next person to talk to.

I get it. It’s just not my style.

There are typically folks at these functions determined to meet, hand out, and gather as many business cards as they can.  

I’m pretty sure I always believed that was the goal. Meet everyone. Get as many cards as you can.

Now I’m not so sure.

So, which is more important at a networking event, the quality of the conversation or the quantity of conversations with different people?


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