New Networking Group Offers Casual Setting for Making Connections
The recently launched monthly event will not feature guest speakers, 30-second speeches or an agenda. What it will feature is "a comfortable, stress-free, and fun atmosphere," organizer Rene Van Hout says.
Looking for a way to connect with other local business owners in a relaxed setting, without the pressure of agendas and speeches?
LOL Transport & Moving owner Rene Van Hout recently began a monthly networking coffee for local businesspeople to connect, “happy hour style.”
"What makes this group unique is that you can come and go at your convenience because there is no agenda, 30-second elevator speeches, infomercials or guest speakers. It's all about getting to know each other personally, as well as professionally, in a comfortable, stress-free, and fun atmosphere,” Van Hout said.
Van Hout said she decided to host the event because many people have told her that they don’t network “because they are petrified of public speaking.”
“Most networking groups require each person to stand up and give an elevator speech,” Van Hout said.
But not this one.
“I want a casual atmosphere where people can come and go at their convenience, like a happy hour, without the alcohol,” Van Hout said.
Though many networking meetings regularly include guest speakers, Van Hout does not plan to go that route with this group.
“I don't want speakers, because that takes away from one-to-one time. I want people to really get to know each other on a personal level, as well as professional,” she said.
“The motto for this group is ‘There are no strangers here, just friends you haven't met yet,’” Van Hout said.
Fifteen people turned out for the group’s first meeting on Jan. 17, more than Van Hout expected because the kick-off event wasn’t advertised or promoted, she said.
“I wanted to feel out what people wanted,” Van Hout said.
The group will meet from 8 to 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of every month at Organic Life Coffeehouse and Bakery, 1900 Oak Grove Blvd, in Lutz. The next meeting will be Feb. 21.
There is no cost to attend.
The group is sponsored by the Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce, "but everyone is welcome,” Van Hout said.
For more information, contact Rene Van Hout at Rene@LOLmoving.com or 813-300-7511.