Five Nights of Networking

I’m not sure what I was trying to prove to myself – maybe I was just trying to recapture my youth – but for some reason I decided to go out every day this week. My goal was to get out and network – something I suck at! Oh, and have a little fun in the process…

Night 1: Forrester Consumer Forum Chicago Tweet-up
I was lucky to snag a ticket to Forrester’s Tweet-up (via Twitter of course), so even though I didn’t have a chance to attend the forum, I got to meet some cool people at the event. I forced myself to network by attending by myself and not knowing anyone else there. And I had a yummy glass of Spanish wine – for $23.

Night 2: CPRMN Social Media Event & Reik Concert
I had the chance to see Peter Shankman speak at the ChicagoPR & Marketing Network’s social  media event. I even won a Poken thanks to my knowledge of the answer to this little question by Shankman: Who has run this country for the past 100 years? Answer: Rich White Men (or Old White Men – same difference). Now I just need to find more people that  actually have a poken!

After the event, there was a nice networking event at Morton’s Steakhouse. This time, I had a nice glass of Malbec – $10. And again, I went to the event alone so that I’d be forced to talk to strangers. On a sidenote, Wacker has got to be the most confusing street in Chicago. It has an upper part and a lower part, an east/west direction and a north/south direction.

But the night didn’t end there. U.S. Cellular was sponsoring a private Reik concert at Alhambra Palace that night, and I got the chance to attend! I knew I was on the list, but I didn’t realize I’d get a lanyard, a wristband and a personal escort to U.S. Cellular’s special VIP section! It was an awesome night, and Reik’s lead singer is one good-looking  man. Unfortunately, they only played for about 20 minutes, so it was a super short performance.

Night 3: Cafe Magazine Pick-up Party
No, it was not a party to pick up a guy or girl – the purpose of the party was to pick up the latest issue of Cafe Magazine. The party was at The Shrine, a new club in South Loop I’ve been wanting to check out. It’s a nice spot, and for future reference, Wednesdays are Latin night. Although it was a bit super crowded, I had fun and won Bulls tickets in a raffle! Erika won a basket full of  Wrigley gum, so she gave me half her basket and I’m taking her to the game. Funnily enough, there was also a party going on in the room next door bring hosted by Tyrus Thomas.

I guess I didn’t really network that much this night, but I figured I did well enough Monday and  Tuesday to earn the right to stay in my comfort zone and stick to talking to my group of friends!

Night 4: Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce & 4 Rebels Vodka Launch
Towards the end of the workday, I was starting to have second thoughts about going out again. But I had two fellow SJG-ers by my side and made  it. The Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce was hosting an event at Loft 610, where there were actually a lot of people from the previous night’s event also (including us).

After a pit stop at La Pasadita for burritos &  horchata, we headed out to Y Bar to celebrate the launch of 4 Rebels Vodka. I’m not much of a vodka drinker, but I did try vodka & club soda and  it actually wasn’t bad.

Night 5: Kasey’s Tavern
There was originally no plan for Night 5 , but I couldn’t resist keeping the streak going! So I was a trooper and went out to this little Printer’s Row spot for a little  bit.

That was my week of socializing! Even though I like meeting new people, I find it really difficult to “network” and small talk with people. It just feels so forced. But I guess the more you get used to talking to people and not being anti-s0cial, the easier it gets (hopefully).

Now the big question – do I go for Night #6 tonight or stay in and watch scary movies? To be continued…

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