On August 11th, a celebration of sorts returns to Minneapolis. The Alphabet Bash, brainchild of four bright young communication professionals six years ago, will turn the Epic Center into a temporary Mecca for the movers, shakers and wanna-bes of the Twin Cities message machines. The evening, while formatted as a loosely scripted mix and mingle, takes a tremendous amount of organization and planning – particularly coordinating the efforts of the eight associations now involved. The “Bash” always promises and delivers great food, a fun atmosphere, and most assuredly the best networking in the professional communication community calendar.
I’m not just touting the event because the UST MBC program is one of the two primary sponsors. We are engaged because this event brings together local business communication professionals from multiple disciplines on one night. It’s imperative that we are there, and should be for anyone interested in building a network of like-minded professionals – for fun and profit!
For those who don’t feel like they know many people, and worry about meeting new folks, here are a couple of tips. First, find someone who has been in the market a while and ask them to go with you – you won’t have to be alone, and with a wing-person, you’ll meet people they know. When you meet those folks, break away from your “buddy” to follow the new acquaintances to the buffet or bar – you might meet some of their friends. Most importantly, if you don’t know anyone, talk to people who look like they are in the same boat. Next year, you will at least know each other.
Plus, the great thing about Alphabet Bash is that everyone has some connection to communication work, and at least one of the organizations behind the event. So you have a conversation starter with everyone – “So, in which organization are you a member?” Further, you can bet that nearly a third of the people in the room have been out of work recently (According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 30% of people in advertising, public relations and related services lost jobs in the downturn.), and the market is starting to come back. So even if you meet a few people that are not in new jobs yet, by next year they may be… and in five years, you will be the ones getting calls from less connected individuals looking for a wing-person.