YNP II provides Proof. Networking is alive and well

Another fantastic event by Stephen Thomas
for Young Non-Profit professionals

Ironic that it was held at a bar called “Proof”.
Although the bar alludes to Vodka, this event to me is proof that someone out there is willing to invest in young talent at a time when the sector is grinding them up like sausage meat. Took guts to make networking the main event. And damn it worked!
But I digest….

Thoughts from a night of high impact networking

Several people commented that I cheated
and brought my own nametag
If you ever see me, I NEVER wear lanyards.
They are networking death
Always turned the wrong way,
they direct your attention down to the stomach
And I gots enough problems going on around there,
why direct your attention to the scene of the crime?!
BTW: Here’s where to wear it….

No, we all have those “work” magnetic nametags now.
So….just take that one and slip it in the nametag!
Also, an idea discussed on Twitter by my social media mentors:
Leah, Kimberley and Claire – write your handle on all nametags!

More brilliance? Check out the five tips they sent out the day before:

1. Bring a stack of business cards, you just never know
2. Download the attendee list here
3. Like us on facebook, if you haven’t already. (Facebook sucks, follow them on LinkedIn)
4. Are you on twitter? Use the hashtag #YNPcanada to find other YNP’ers
5. Got a smartphone? Download these 2 free apps: Bump & RedLaser

Take note AFP and CAGP conference committee’s.
1,2 and 4 should be a “must” before all professional gatherings. Period.

Lastly, I set up about 15 coffee meetings for later..
but a word of comment…
Can we retire the phrase “pick your brain”
Leave that to the zombies.

In the mean time, congrats ST team.

Another slam dunk.

9 Replies to “YNP II provides Proof. Networking is alive and well”

  1. Disagree! Lanyards may not be perfect but for those of us who don't wear suits with easily clipable places or are wearing nice blouses that we don't want pins sticking into, a lanyard is the best option! I see you are an advocate for the magnetic tag which I would be very happy with but not 'everyone' has those Paul! I've never been handed one of those. Remember, many of us aren't as well hooked up as you! 😉

    I say just pay attention to your lanyard. I was subtly checking mine every few minutes to make sure it was facing forward and if you tie a knot at the back, you can make it shorter and not stomach-length.

    A big AGREE on the greatness of the event though 🙂 Lots of fun!

  2. I was trying to be nice to lazy people Margaux!

    Since I know you are not lazy here's the REAL secret I used for years before I too was "worth" ( that's the word used by the staff person who decided it was time for my magnetic nametag ) the expense. – 50 cents at Staples.

    Yup, that's all it costs for a generic magnetic nametag you can take with you to all events to make sure you are unforgettable in a sea of lanyards.

    I have tried that knot in the back thing and it is so awkward! The knot is so big and I feel like I have a tiny bib on.

    Magnetic nametags rule!! Anyone who leaves a comment here on this blog I PROMISE I'll buy a bunch and give you a free one when we meet next.

    Ha ha, I won't have to buy any because no one reads this blog.

  3. Paul,
    Agreed; it's also awkward looking down at the low lanyard long enough to read it without going in close (also odd), so we don't catch half of them or have to ask everyone who they are anyways.

    Also a lot of people don't find out the hashtag for events/conferences. Perhaps organizers should put the hashtag on the nametags as well for a visible reminder of how to continue the conversations throughout.
    Are you going to fit our Twitter handles on these for .50 cents? What a deal!
    AIN Blog Reader,

  4. Now you're in trouble, mwhahahaha! With this comment, I officially claim my magnetic name tag freebie gift! And not only do I read your blog, I frequently tell other people to read your blog…

    Please make it out to "Christina Attard, Philanthropic Advisor, @GPtekkie"

  5. They come in packs of 12 so I'll wait until I have to give away 13 to admit this was a mistake.

    Also, just to clear things up Renee, I'm not MAKING you a nametag, just giving you the clear holder. It's important to note, and if you watch the video in this blog it's rude to not use the nametag prepared by our hosts.

    This solution is the best of both worlds.

    Lastly, Renee I agree! No one is proactively hastagging conferences and events. So as a service to organizers I ask thrice and then on the day of I make my own nice sign with a simple hashtag and ask if they can display it at the registration desk and near the coffee. I've done it four times in the past month and each time they are over the moon! Mostly because it makes them look young and with-it.

  6. I sometimes find the font size hard. People often choose very light/thin fonts that are hard to read from a distance and behind the shiny plastic. Heavier fonts make it so much easier read.

    I also think organizers need to have a plan for people who don't have pre-printed name tags. I had pre-registered for YNP, but didn't have a name tag printed. Using a thick Sharpie is awkward and a bit messy and automatically makes you look different. At HIP we had the luxury of an inkjet printer and were able to print one-off tags as needed for changes that arose.

    I wonder who decided to make lanyards that long awkward length.

  7. I once saw a bumper sticker that said "event planners do it better". >Scot-accent> Brilliant!

    The pro's often have a cool format where they use a serif font (font nerds unite!) size 50 for the first name and 20 all caps for the last name and title underneath.It looked sharp and facilitated actual connecting.

    Printing one offs works only in certain numbers,when that bus let's out and 40 people are standing in line at a registration desk ( judging! ) that sharpie is like a flask of whisky at the boring wedding of a 1000 speeches – life saver.

  8. I have 8 nametags, my first one came with my waitressing job when I was 17. They pretty much follow my resume.

    I wear lanyards at conferences for respect of the sponsor and the organizers. However, often they are too long and not well designed.

    For AFP Toronto Congress 2010 they had an icebreaker question on the nametag. I really liked that. "Ask me about…(fill in the blank)"

    In 2009 at the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands they had the very first twitter board in the history of twitter board. The committee asked a few of us to get the momentum going. So I wrote @kimberleycanada on my nametag. And have done ever since.

    I LOVE my nametag from the South Asian Fundraising Group conference in Jaipur, India. That was a life altering experience.

    I have thought of getting my own but really a nametag says you belong to something whether it is your work, another charity or a conference – whatever is happening that day.

    Although I never wear them while speaking cause I figure if you showed up you know who I am. I try not to wear them in pictures because, like the glass of wine in my hand, they don't go with the pearls.

    Now I confess a secret. I don't give back my lanyards. I collect them. I have the lanyard and nametag from every conference I have been to in the past eleven years. They are hanging from a hook in my office. Kind of silly perhaps….but well…that's me. I'm a conference junkie.

    PS Paul, yesterday I refreshed the look of my blog. It would seem we are using the same template. What can I say…imitation is the best form of flattery.

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