Business with heart

By Andrew Cantwell

Bubbling doesn’t begin to describe the energy level at a business gathering at Cranbourne’s Amazing Grace restaurant last Tuesday night, 3 September.

The night combined four groups at a social meet-up, to allow businesspeople the chance to meet the faces behind the business cards (but no business cards allowed on the night) and to connect … in the real world.

Those involved were from the Narre Warren Business Group, TedX Casey, Women Making it Work and the hosting group LinkedIn Local Casey.

If the level of hubbub was any indicator, the room was absolutely buzzing.

There were ice-breakers designed to allow people to mix with different groups, a panel of speakers who strove bravely to be heard above the amicable chatter, and some brief presentations between rounds of nibblies and pizza.

In the business world, it’s so important to cultivate a professional persona, but at Tuesday night’s meet-up real people emerged – and nobody got upset.

The night proved an antidote to the old business mantra of ‘perform or you’re out’ – a la The Apprentice – as well as demonstrating that networks (another banned word) can be enjoyable.

Another night is planned in October.

If you haven’t made it to an event yet, book in and get along.

On LinkedIn, search for LinkedIn Local Casey and get on board.

If you’re still on that other ‘social’ network, ditch it now and make the move – you’ll be glad you did.

LinkedIn Local Casey organiser Brett Shuttleworth provided the following explainer on what the movement was all about:

  • LinkedIn Local began a little over two years ago in Coffs Harbour by Anna McAfee {}.
  • A global community by the users of LinkedIn designed to take online relationships offline to get to know the person behind the profile.
  • Our story is a global collective of amazing people striving to build authentic connections in real life. The world is demanding more of social media companies – not just efficient and effective services that make our lives more convenient and manageable, but more heart and soul. LinkedIn Local Casey has become part of LinkedIn’s social conscience. Just 26 months after the original event, with 18 people meeting in Coffs Harbour, this movement is in 90 countries and 650 towns and cities. We have more than 1000 hosts who have given their time to bring LinkedIn Local to their local communities, impacting hundreds of thousands of LinkedIn users.
  • “build a bigger table, not a taller fence“ – Anna McAfee
  • LinkedIn Local has contributed massively to increase the engagement of LinkedIn. I have been told, as have others, that many users across the globe weren’t particularly active on LinkedIn until they came across the LinkedIn Local events. This, we know, from having attended the events, is because people were connecting at a different level and getting to know the people behind the public profiles. No-one could’ve guessed at the huge appetite for face to face interaction that existed all over the world.
  • LinkedIn Local Casey is quickly becoming a must attend event in the City of Casey – search for ’LinkedIn Local Casey’ via LinkedIn to find out more
  • It was an idea founded on the principles of collaboration, diversity, authenticity and respect, and its an idea I’m truly proud to be a part of.

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