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Lauren’s Top 5 Tips for Networking

Let’s be honest….networking is hard work. It is especially hard work since we spent the last year with the least amount of human interaction we have had in our lives.  Knowing how to effectively network is key to building professional relationships and in today’s crowded job market, the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, could not be more true. NACE Experience is next week, so here are some tips to help guide you through effective business networking and dipping your toes into the people pond again! 

  1. Understand your goal
    • What are you wanting to accomplish with networking and your relationships? Is it building your client database? Honing in on a future job or career path? Maybe it’s just for casual talk and conversation. Whatever it is, try to keep in mind the WHY behind what you are doing. It can help guide your conversation and determine your follow up afterwards as well.  
  2. Relax and keep in mind, we are all a little uncomfortable. 
    • Networking and meeting new people can be scary and intimidating. Remember, it is not just you that feels that way. The people you are meeting and speaking to are ALSO a little nervous. So, take a deep breathe and try to be as cool, calm and collected as possible. 
  3. Keep it relatable! 
    • Keep your conversation relatable and interesting to the person you are meeting.  This way it not only makes the conversation more fun and engaging for you both, but it makes it easier to remember who you have met and what they do and how it relates to you as well! How can you help them? Make sure the conversation is not just about you, your job, your career, but about them, how you can help and work with them as well. 
  4. Document your connections
    • After meeting a few people, take the time to document who they are, where they work or what they do and their contact information. At NACE Experience, you will be on system overload, so do not rely on yourself to remember it all. Have a system in place to take notes or document your valuable information. 
  5. Follow up! 
    • This tip seems the easiest, but it is the most forgotten. Follow up with your new friends! Touch base with them, send a quick note, email, text or call soon after arriving home from conference. And make it a point to keep in touch with them.  Again, our relationships have incredible influence in our careers and this is a great way to strengthen opportunities for yourself and others.  

I am so excited to see everyone at the NACE National Conference in Vegas, and at our monthly DFW NACE meetings. And I hope these tips & tricks can help with your business and professional relationships. Please realize that you might be a little rusty and it might feel more uncomfortable than you remember, but don’t let that stop you! Meet some new people and squeeze the ones you already know (safely). Our event industry is dependent on strong, healthy relationships, so let’s do it! 

“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” – Bill Nye 

 

Lauren Twichell
Owner of Painting with a Twist Rockwall
President-Elect of DFW NACE

Member Spotlight: Shamica Sweat

Tell us about your business or the work you do.

My name is Shamica Sweat and I am the owner and lead planner at Shamica & Co. Event Planning and Design. We specialize in planning and designing curated wedding experiences.

What do you love most about the work you do?

What I love most about what I do is helping clients bring their wedding day visions to life while creating an event experience for the client and their guests.  

What Committee are you on for NACE and what do you do?

I currently serve on both the Communication and Fundraising Committees.

Which best describes you? Iphone/Mac, Iphone/PC, Android/Mac, Android/PC?

I am an Apple girl all the way, iPhone and Mac.

When you’re not working, what are you doing?

When I am not working I am enjoying time with my husband and kiddos, hanging out, and exploring new things. 

Tell us one thing on your bucket list.

One of the things on my bucket list is to go on a dune buggy tour in the deserts of Dubai.

Is there a song you wish they would stop playing at events?

I love all types of music and don’t really have a song I wish they would stop playing at weddings. A song I wish they would play at every wedding is Tennessee Whiskey. I love the beat and cadence of the song. 

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it?

If I had an extra hour in the day I would spend it shopping. 

Member Spotlight: Chris Horace

Tell us about your business or the work you do:

My name is Chris Horace and I am the Director of Events and DJ for Inkredible Sounds. We are a full service entertainment production company for weddings, proms, and corporate events. 

What do you love most about the work you do?

I love seeing everyone smiling and have a great time on the dance floor. 

What Committee are you on for NACE and what do you do?

I am currently apart of the communications committee and my main duties at the time is update the DFW NACE website, approving members to the online directory, and uploading the events to the facebook page. 

Which best describes you? Iphone/Mac, Iphone/PC, Android/Mac, Android/PC?

All of my personal devices are Apple! 

When you’re not working, what are you doing?

Enjoying a cookies and cream shake or talking on the phone.

Tell us one thing on your bucket list

I would love to travel out the country to Japan. 

Is there a song you wish they would stop playing at events?

If I had to choose one song if would be the Macarena, I believe its one of top 5 most played songs at any event. 

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it?

Netflix and Chill 

Member Spotlight: Robin Benson Linek

Tell us about your business or the work you do:

I’m the special events manager at the Meadows Museum, SMU. The museum’s vision is to be the leading center in the United States for exhibition, research and education in the arts and culture of Spain.  I plan museum events, create video content through my weekly web series, Culture Corner, and handle the museum’s facility rental business. 

What do you love most about the work you do?

I love to tell stories through events.  I love the creative aspect of my work and making engaging experiences (both virtually and in-person) to delight museum stakeholders.

What Committee are you on for NACE and what do you do?

I’ve just joined the communications committee.  I help to manage DFW-NACE’s presence on social media.

Which best describes you? Iphone/Mac, Iphone/PC, Android/Mac, Android/PC?

iPhone,  Mac for home/PC for work

When you’re not working, what are you doing?

I’m usually running (while listening to an audio book) or at barre class. My husband and I love to go to theater, watch movies, and spend time with our dogs and cat. 

Tell us one thing on your bucket list

A trip to India. 

Is there a song you wish they would stop playing at events?

We see a lot of Spanish guitar at my venue. Unfortunately, some guitarists choose to play “Rainbow Connection” over and over again.

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it?

I’d spend it exploring my neighborhood and trying new places.

Legends of NACE: Terry Shields

Tell us about your business or the work you do. 

I design and produce events for client’s special occasions in their lives that will create a lasting memory.

What year did you join NACE? 

May 24, 2000

How do you define success?

Everyone measures success differently and life is a series of successes…and sometimes failures.  However, no one is a success on their own.  It takes the support of friends and family that gives you the positive drive to be successful.  In the hospitality industry you have to have the best and most reputable industry contacts on your “team” when designing and producing special events for you to be known as  a success in this industry.

What would the title of your autobiography be?

The Nobelist Art is That of Making Others Happy!

Tell us your favorite NACE memory.

While I have been blessed with so many great moments and memories the favorite has to be hearing my name announced as the 2011 National Caterer of the Year Award recipient and to have my Dallas NACE family with me for the presentation.

Advice for newer members of NACE?

Passion…Perseverance…Patience!  Have a deep passion for the industry and what you do…Persevere through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in order to stay grounded as a person…Have Patience while building your foundation of industry contacts as well as your reputation as a leader in the industry. 

Over the years what is the most important thing you have gained through NACE?

Overall NACE does an incredible job with education.  Anyone can find a speaker or topic of interest no matter at what level of experience you are at in your career.  However, I find the most important thing that I gain through NACE is the many relationships I have through NACE, both in Dallas and throughout the nation!  These are not only people that I work with on events but people that I get counsel from as well as people that are like family…no matter how infrequently we see each other.

Member Spotlight: Kathryn Krieger

Tell us about your business or the work that you do: I am the owner of Pucker Up Impressions & my team and I provide stellar personalized entertainment services of a wide variety for events.

What do you love most about the work that you do: My clients. I have some of the BEST clients & they keep me motivated when I have days where I’d rather just play with my kids.

What Committee are you on for NACE & what do you do? I am on the Communications Committee & I help create the Legends of NACE, Meet the Board and Member Spotlight Blog Posts. My goal for communications is to help all our members feel appreciated and recognized.

Which best describes you? Iphone/Mac, Iphone/PC, Android/Mac, Android/PC? I LOVE my MAC, but I despise IPhones. LOL Totally an android girl – hence why I created this question! Haha!

When you’re not working, what are you doing? Playing with my kids, being outdoors, creating fun crafts.

Tell us one thing on your bucket list: Paragliding

Is there a song you wish they would stop playing at events? Quite a few actually. . . LOL – hard to just pick one. . .

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? So many options!! Probably be Outside or crafting or reading or exercising or meditating or, or, or! So many fun things to do in life!

Member Spotlight: John Martin

Tell us about your business or the work you do: I am one of 3 owners of On The Levee Event Venue

What do you love most about the work you do? I love the excitement of a day of the event.  Seeing everything come together.

What Committee are you on for NACE and what do you do? I am on the Communications Committee. I’m not very good at this, but I’m trying to go outside my comfort zone.

Which best describes you? Iphone/Mac, Iphone/PC, Android/Mac, Android/PC? Iphone guy but I use a PC for work…I’m good with both.

When you’re not working, what are you doing? I own a venue I’m never off..JK I play ultimate frisbee and go to the lake. Love wakeboarding and surfing.

Tell us one thing on your bucket list: Travel Europe for a month.

Is there a song you wish they would stop playing at events? My events have been all over the map so no 1 song gets over played to be honest.

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? Watch TV…I miss watching TV

Meet the Board: Co-Director of Membership – Lance Patton

Tell us about your business or the work that you do?

I am the owner and sole DJ for MY DFW DJ – Weddings & Events. I launched in 2015 when my wife an a relocated to Dallas from Detroit, Michigan. I add “the party” to beautiful celebrations. I also edit wedding industry podcasts including The Week In Weddings, Almost To The Aisle and This vs That.

How long have you been a NACE member? On the board?

I’ve been a member of NACE since 2017. I served on the membership committee starting in 2018 and proudly serve as a current board member.

What is your personal motto?

Love one another.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Cooking, I wanted to be a chef before I wanted to be a DJ.

Which actor or actress would play you in the movie about your life?

Anthony Mackie, probably best known as Marvel Superhero “Falcon,” Captain America’s crime fighting partner. He’s quiet but powerful. He isn’t “everywhere” but everywhere he is, his presence is undeniable.

What does true leadership mean to you?

Leadership is having an understanding of everyone you serve. Rarely are a group of people in the same place. One that takes time to understand that and lead from that perspective will garner better results as a leader.

What is in the trunk of your car right now?

Ironically nothing. Since my car is technically a work SUV, I’m happy to have it empty when I’m not working.

Meet the Board: Co-Director of Programs – Kortni Jeske

Tell us about your business or the work you do.

I work for Vestals Catering, a catering company that prides itself on our scratch-made, seasonal cuisine and our generous hospitality!

How long have you been a NACE member? On the board?

I have been a NACE member since 2016? 2017? 4 or 5 years! Wow! This is my first year on the board.

What is your personal motto?

“If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right.”

What is your guilty pleasure?

Reality competition shows! (The Challenge, Survivor, Big Brother, Amazing Race, Top Chef, Chopped, etc.) I can’t get enough!

Which actor or actress would play you in the movie about your life?

I guess I’ll go with… Mila Kunis? She’s a short little firecracker not unlike myself, and she doesn’t take s*** from anyone! Also, her “Bad Moms” character is just too relatable to ignore! LOL

What does true leadership mean to you?

True leadership is leading by example. Not being afraid to get into the trenches with your team. You can’t just talk the talk these days, you have to prove that you can walk the walk!

What is in the trunk of your car right now?

A jacket and extra set of clothes for my toddler, a portable jump-starter, an emergency first-aid kit, and a picnic blanket! …and possibly a fold-up wagon? 

Meet the Board: Co-Director of Membership – Jennifer Crenshaw

Jennifer Crenshaw

Tell us about your business or the work you do.  I am a professional photographer and Owner of Jennifer Crenshaw Photography. I’ve been capturing couples on camera for over 10 years in Dallas, and I love catching those candid moments.

How long have you been a NACE member? On the board? I joined the DFW NACE chapter in 2019 and joined the board as Co-Director of Membership at the beginning of 2021.

What is your personal motto? “Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart.”

What is your guilty pleasure? I feel like a have a few. Chocolate for sure, I can never pass it up. And wine, I love red wine. Just give me chocolate, wine, and a good movie and I’m in my happy place!

Which actor or actress would play you in the movie about your life? Anne Hathaway

What does true leadership mean to you? Leadership is about taking charge and doing the hard work. It’s about speaking up for others and always being there to help and provide support. A true leader sets a good example by showing kindness and respect to others.

What is in the trunk of your car right now? Right now, there’s nothing in the trunk because grocery pickup has been a lifesaver during Covid-19.