Jump-start your networking over lunch

Posted by Jeremy Elwood on Jun 03, 2016

Membership in the Chamber offers the opportunity to make meaningful connections with business peers and prospects. Besides member events and committee roundtables is the innovative program ConnectForLunch, which provides an environment custom-made for networking.

You’ll meet new people—usually two or three —at a local restaurant. It’s a small group so you’ll have the chance to make a real connection with someone you’ve never met. Plus, before you arrive, you’ll receive brief bio information for your lunch partners, so you’ll feel like you know each other before you even shake hands. Add the good food and the confines of a lunch hour and the benefits are easy to see.

“We all know that developing professional relationships can be time-consuming and stressful, especially if you don’t have a way to get the conversation started,” says Chamber Membership Development Manager Dori Grinder. “ConnectForLunch is our way of helping start that conversation. It’s one of the most effective methods we offer for members to make new contacts and expand their network.”

It’s a simple process:

  1. Sign up for the ConnectForLunch program through the link on the Chamber website.
  2. Each Monday morning you’ll receive an email where you select which day works best for you—Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
  3. Select your preferred location from the list of Chamber member restaurants.

That’s all there is to it. The program makes reservations for you and sets you up with other Chamber members. Typically, introductions around the table include a brief description of your company’s product or service. Since everyone has the same goal, you can be sure networking wins out over sales pitches.

“As a banker, it’s important for me to meet new people and network with others,” says Angel Shortt, business development officer with Old Missouri Bank. “I’ve been part of the ConnectForLunch program since it started, and it’s a great way to get in front of other business professionals that I wouldn’t normally have an introduction. I’ve met a lot of great business owners and employees in the program, not to mention the long-lasting friendships I’ve made along the way.”

If you think the ConnectForLunch program is a good fit for you or someone else in your organization, visit the ConnectForLunch website to learn more and sign up. We’ll see you at lunch!

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