Sunday, October 3, 2010

Webster's Fine Networking

Anton Anderson emcees as Lori Webster looks on. Fluorescents be damned, I like the shot anyway.

Like a lot of people, I've been looking to spruce up my online social networking skills for the sake of my business. I'm okay at blogging, but I've got a few things to learn about Facebook and my LinkedIn page is neglected. (I'm so pathetic at Twitter I'm not at liberty to discuss it here.)

Lately I've been speaking to groups about blogging. The first thing I tell them is that blogging is networking. The second thing I tell them is that networking is giving. Networking used to conjure up depressing pictures of dreary social functions where you'd pass out your business card in hopes of getting work. It felt like begging and I was lousy at it. But that's an old idea. Now, networking is about service--finding out what your network needs and filling that need, knowing the returns will come. Giver is a much more powerful position than Beggar.

Last Friday night, Webster's Fine Stationers in Altadena showed us how it's done. WFS, owned by Scott and Lori Webster, hosted a well-attended Social Media Meet and Greet event, free and open to the public. The audience comprised upwards of 50 local entrepreneurs of all stripes and levels of networking knowledge. Everyone was eager to learn and share.

Anton Anderson of Productivity Consulting emceed and Hilary Cable of Business.com Answers led the evening with an informative talk about using Facebook for your business. (She cleared up some Facebook mysteries, which until Friday I would have told you was impossible to do.) I spoke briefly about blogging, and Deb Halberstadt of HalfCity Productions guided us through the uses of LinkedIn.

Then we got to eat! courtesy of Amy's Patio Cafe. And there was wine tasting! provided by Anne Louise Bannon and Michael Holland of OddBallGrape.com. And there was much offline networking, quite social, provided by a lively and interesting crowd.

It would be nice if you clicked all the links, though I know you won't. Still, it gives you a visual idea of how many people and businesses contributed to the evening.

I'd like to see Webster's Fine Stationers do this type of event again, perhaps with even more community input. At a time when so many of us need to stay on top of these changing networking platforms, WFS provided a forum, a gathering place, a community service. Lori, Scott and their great staff filled the needs of their network, and I know the returns will come rushing back to them.

21 comments:

Shell Sherree said...

Sounds like a friendly and useful event, Petrea. And I clicked on every link for those generous contributors. {And I don't even live nearby ~ networking really is different nowadays!}

Petrea said...

Shell, you are a particularly amazing networker.

Margaret said...

I had to miss it, but it sounds great. Hopefully there will be a second time so I can come.

Irina Netchaev said...

Sounds like a very powerful event and a great close to the Social Media Week.

Unfortunately, I too had to miss it. But, I can't wait until the next one.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Did u give your 10 Bizness Blogging Tips again, PDP, or was it a new topic?

AND, was there really food from Amy's?!? And wine too?! I really want to thank Lori & her hubby for taking on this task!

Desiree said...

Oh for heaven's sake, how did I miss this? I coulda walked there!

Lori Webster said...

Petrea, we had so much fun Friday evening and want to thank you for giving your time up to speak at the event. We'll be doing this again and again, because there is a need for it in this community.

For those of you who missed it, check Facebook for our store's fan page, friend us and be on the lookout for further announcements.

Once again, we appreciate your expertise, Petrea!

Petrea Burchard said...

Like Lori mentions, if you "Like" the Webster's Fine Stationers Facebook page, you'll be notified of future events. (They're also cool about not sending out fifty million things, so don't worry about your inbox getting filled with junk.)

Cafe, I didn't have time for all ten tips so I just gave a little overview. It's nice of you to thank Lori and Scott--they deserve it.

Desiree, the funny thing is Barry was there! He came by to buy envelopes...

Thanks, Lori. I loved being a part of it.

TheChieftess said...

Looks like an interesting event!!!

Ms M said...

sounds like an informative and interesting event. Good info to have and pass along to others.

J+P said...

I spent the night locked in a yarn store.

Susan Campisi said...

Oh how woefully oblivious I am of local events. I've already seen your amazing presentation, Petrea, but I could use a refresher course and would also love to socialize with other locals. I'll connect to WFS on FB so I'm in the loop for the next one. Thanks for the info.

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm sorry, J, I thought you'd enjoy it. Next time I'll lock you in a hardware store.

Hilary Cable said...

Thanks so much for posting, Petrea! It was a wonderful event. We could do a whoel series of these--there are so many social platforms business can use. I would love to talk about Foursquare, Twitter... so many possibilities!

Dirk said...

It's a teeny tiny world. Hilary Cable is my sister--she was just telling me about this event last night. I'll have to tell her one of my favoritie bloggers was there!

Hilary Cable said...

Petrea, if you have any photos you would like to share with Business.com's Facebook page, I would be much obliged!

Petrea Burchard said...

Well, it is a small world! (Don't get me started singing that song, I'll never stop.) Dirk, that's nice of you.

Hilary, I sent you an email.

Steve Scauzillo said...

We almost went to this! But we went to the LA County Fair all day instead and had a blast.

Petrea Burchard said...

I hope you took pictures...

Paula L. Johnson said...

I like the shot, and didn't notice (until now) how close in color Anton's shirt was to the wall above him.

Petrea Burchard said...

It's Lori's wistful look that makes this shot for me. As for the color of Anton's shirt, the fluorescent lights and my post-production may have more to do with it than reality does.