An awesome networking event - ConnectOtt

 This year I set a goal to have 10 speaking engagements where I could hopefully inspire or motivate or help others to reach their goals.  Within days of setting this goal, I started receiving opportunities to speak.  I am a strong believer that we must put out what we want to achieve to the great universe.  We must be clear about our intentions.  I know that and I try to practice it regularly.
So I got this invitation to participate at the ConnnectOtt event. I had never heard about it before.  As soon as I read more about what the intention was for the event, I said YES.  Why?  Because it matched with my personal goal. (It is important to set goals so that you can see the opportunity when it arrives!)
 I have attended many networking events in Ottawa but I must say that this one which I attended on March 31st, was pretty AMAZING. ConnectOtt deserves a great deal of praise for gathering such a powerful group of industry leaders and young professionals in the same space to have some pretty powerful conversations over dinner. The dinner part, at Chauteau Laurier - well, you can't beat that! How else to get people to relax and connect effortlessly?  Add a bit of wine to it... everything gets easier!
 So what is ConnnectOtt?  I had never heard about it until I was invited as an industry professional.  It is quite interesting how much we don't know about what is available in Ottawa- which is why it is important to network!
ConnectOTT is a dinner and networking event that creates strategic opportunities to meet inspiring people in the city of Ottawa. The event bridges the gap between emerging professionals looking to progress in their careers and grow their networks and well-established community and industry leaders who have been there and done that and are looking to give back. Throughout a three-course dinner, participants are matched with leaders in industries of their choice. Each course is spent with 2 leaders and 6 young professionals, a format which maximizes face time and allows for both mentorship and network opportunities to develop in an intimate setting. This year’s event was attended by over 240 participants including 60 leaders in 13 different industries. You can learn more about ConnectOtt.
I met new people and reconnected with some others whom I had not seen for a long time. What particularly struck me at that event was the enthusiasm and open-mindedness of everyone I met.  Everyone seemed open to learning, open to meeting new people and open to possibilities.  Imagine the possibilities when a room is full of such great and positive energy.
A great thank you to the ConnectOtt team.  Your work is very important in building community. Count on me for next year if you need me.
If you don't know this yet - there is POWER in networking. Sometimes, the events are free and sometimes they cost money... either way, you got to show up for your life... and go out and meet real people who can connect with you in a real way. #ConnectOtt
It was a pleasure getting photos with the two lovely co-chairs of ConnectOtt and to listen to their personal stories with ConnectOtt and their enthusiasm.
Leigh-Ann Redmond - it was nice to meet again after so many years!

Alison Sochasky it was a pleasure to meet you in person after the Facebook interactions.

 A few things which I have learnt about networking:
- Show up with a positive attitude and show  enthusiasm
- Although you may have some expectations, try to put them aside and enjoy meeting other people  on a human level.
- If someone asks you, ""How can I help you?"" be prepared to say what you are looking for.
- Share the conversation.  Ask questions to get the other person to talk about themselves.  Don't be too caught up  with yourself.
This was the group at our third table.  Michelle, HR Director at Carleton University and I were hosting the group and this group had a blast!  They were about fun and sharing their life experiences and I found out that there is such a job title called a Social Media Director!
Who knows what you will learn about at a networking event!
My final point on this blog - you never know who you will run into!  I met some great people I worked with before, including Michele Kosh, who disappeared for a couple of years!  She went off to study and is now back in the working world, in a different capacity.
So... my point today... go and network.  Meet people. Set networking goals.  Keep working at starting new conversations.  There is a whole new world waiting for you... you just got to make the right connections!
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