The most exciting networking events in D.C. often happen right around the corner from the most uninteresting ones. On any given day, there are a host of breakfasts, power lunches, and after-work networking happy hours attended by Washington’s most influential professionals.
But with so many to choose from, how does one possibly decide which event will make the most impact on their job search or professional network?
Will this breakfast lead to a worthwhile connection? Does this power lunch have an air-tight list? And if it does can I get in? There’s nothing wrong with wondering about these details, except that you’re asking yourself the wrong questions. Ever met someone who always seems to be in the right place at the right time? The truth is there is a method to the madness. They’re not lucky, they’ve just figured out the right elements to consider when putting together their social calendar.
Before you show up, ask yourself these 3 questions:
Who Will Be There?
Who will be there is the most important question you should ask yourself when trying to decide if you should go to an event. Intimate settings and exclusive gatherings (i.e. house parties, BBQ’s, and workshops) give you a better chance of making real connections. As well as after parties and events surrounding major conferences and summits. Some of these events are easy to find and even free.
During a huge conference, professionals gather from all over the world for one specific purpose– to meet like minded people. They are looking to meet others and make connections. Even if you can’t afford to go to the conference or don’t want to, it is still a good idea to seek out events surrounding it.
Where Is It?
Is the event being hosted at the National Press Club? White House? Private home of some ambassador? Yacht? I can go on and on. The saying “location, location, location” does not just ring true in real estate. Being at the right place at the right time matters.
Can You Get In?
I have been to many incredible events that were empty because people simply did not think they could get it. Unless POTUS or some president of some nation will be there, there is always the chance that you can attend an event. Reach out to the host and ask. Give your credentials and if you feel so moved, tell them why you’d love to be there.
Show up to the event and be patient. Don’t start spouting off your credentials at the door, it will just be worse for you when you are not allowed in. I have waited 30-40 minutes outside at times and my patience has always paid off. Make sure to have a story and stick to it. Speak directly to the door man or contact the host if you can. Be polite and always, be sure to look the part.
We feature vetted, and often exclusive networking events on the CAPITOL STANDARD events page. Check back often for up to date information on dinners, panels, festivals, and exclusive events.
However, if you’d like to use even more resources to find networking events in the District, here are a few websites to consider:
See you inside.