It’s time to update your LinkedIn, polish that 30-second elevator pitch, and restock those business cards, because the Convention is coming! This July, Americans from every state will convene in Philadelphia.
While here, attendees will have plenty of opportunity to foster new relationships and make long-term connections with new acquaintances. The city of Philadelphia is rich with places you can do it. Below are my top three tips for networking while in Philadelphia.
- They say the best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. Food and drinks are great way to connect with people in a less formal setting (sans stick-on name tags). Squeeze in a quick coffee chat for your new friendly at Saxby’s, Joe’s or Elixr. Chat over a quick, fresh lunch at Honey Grow or Sweetgreen. Or talk business over bourbon at Barbuzzo.
- If you need a place to plug in your lap-top, answer emails and escape the heat, checking into a co-working space is not only a great way to increase your productivity, it’s a chance to introduce yourself to entrepreneurs and business owners in town for the DNC. Spaces like Pipeline Philly are at the epicenter of action (they’re smack dab in Center City at 15th & Market). Pipeline Philly offers one-day-drop-in memberships and will be hosting DNC related-events with innovators and thought-leaders in the political and tech space.
- If you’re looking to network within your field, there are a number of professional associations in Philadelphia. If you’re in an entrePReneur like me, seek out the folks at Philadelphia Public Relations Association and the Philadelphia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Find your tribe amongst the Young Professional Network, Society of Professional Women or Urban League Philadelphia.
Your time at the DNC only matters if you approach it with mindfulness and the intention to make it meaningful. Be in the know and make yourself a part of the conversation. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and step way outside the box. Ask questions and challenge convention. Wherever you make your connections, remember that networking is a two way street.
Rakia Reynolds is the founder of Skai Blue Media, a multimedia communications agency with an all-star roster of lifestyle, technology, non-profit and fashion clients. Noted as an influencer in the creative business industry, Reynolds is sought after by companies to provide her expertise in creative development, branding and strategic communications. Reynolds was named one of the 25 tastemakers on Dell’s “Inspire 100,” a list of the most socially influential people in the country.