I love attending CPE events as according to conventional wisdom they are the place to be to engage with like-minded individuals.  Apparently, it’s all about strategy. Who you want to meet.   Being optimistic.  Asking open-ended questions.  Obtaining contact details of those you meet. Stalking online and following up with a personalised message on LinkedIn.

Then comes the tricky part ensuring the relationship is mutually beneficiary.  You know-you scratch my back and I will scratch yours.

The reality is networking goes something along the lines of :

‘Hi, I’m Kate.’

‘Gertie, Please to meet you Kate.’

‘Did you travel far this morning?’

‘No.’ (No, I didn’t travel far this morning as I flew in from interstate yesterday, not that I am going to admit that to you. The travel question is a loaded one.  The further you have to travel the lower down you are on the industry food chain.)

‘And you?’

‘No.  I work in the CBD for [insert name of a nationally recognised organisation]’.  Nobody ever admits who they work for unless there is  a prestige factor involved.

‘Oh, so you are a practitioner in A?’

‘Yes.  And you?’

‘No, I specialise in B.’

‘A large organisation?’

‘No. ‘


No. Shakes head sadly.

Conversation invariably turns awkward as there is no mutual benefit to be derived and other party is desperately wondering how to extract themselves politely.

Yep, we represent zero network value.  Perhaps we should have the above-cards actually printed.