News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 9, 2013

Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce: Wrap up the year with networking events

Ken Brengle
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — As the end of the year quickly approaches, the Chamber is wrapping up its 100th anniversary year with a few more networking and education opportunities.

Networking

Studies show that connected professionals are happier, healthier and simply have more fun. Well, we’re not sure about that, but join us at any one of the following networking opportunities to make connections and start the holiday season off right.

The next event is Member CONNECT on Wednesday at the Chamber. Join us for breakfast and an informal information session that will help you get the most out of your membership investment by meeting fellow Chamber members, learning about important programs and initiatives and meeting the Chamber staff and board members.

Looking to make new contacts and share business leads? Join us for Power Hour on Thursday. This free members-only event includes one hour of powerful speed networking with local business professionals. You can expect to build your referral network, perfect your 30-second commercial and hear innovative ideas. The event will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Chamber. Pre-registration is required and space is limited.

Finally, we will be hosting Schmooza Palooza, an evening networking expo hosted by The Landing at Fort Harrison. It will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 4. Individual tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Each attendee will receive two drink tickets, complimentary appetizers and lots of networking opportunities. Vendor displays are available to members for $50, which includes two attendee tickets.

To register for any of these events, visit our newly re-designed website at www.terrehautechamber.com. Questions? Contact us at memberinfo@terrehaute

chamber.com or call 812-232-2391.

Whether it is a Chamber event, or any other holiday networking opportunity, be sure to take full advantage of the time by utilizing a few of these strategies.

• Don’t turn down invites to holiday parties. The more contacts the better even if contact is minimal. You never know who you’ll meet and the goal is have a contact who remembers who you are and what you do.

• Everyone you meet could be a potential lead, so introduce yourself well. Practice and perfect the art of introducing yourself clearly and simply. Figuring out your “sound bite” is worth it to get that conversational ball rolling!

• Ask for advice. Ask for information. Use phrases such as “I’m interested in learning more about” or “I respect your opinion and wanted your advice.” People are receptive to being a resource.

• Take notes about the people you meet. After any holiday party, use your iPhone or other mobile device to note their contact info, what they do, a topic you discussed or a common interest to jog your memory. This can be helpful for using in future contacting.

• Listen. Your contacts can provide valuable information and insight if you aren’t too busy doing all the talking!

• Be natural and conversational. Try to establish a sense of rapport. Mention something or someone you have in common. Ask simple questions to engage general conversation. Above all, try to avoid sounding like you’re reading from a script!

• Follow up. Be sure to ask for business cards from each new person you meet and then follow up with them referencing something specific from your conversation.

Looking ahead to 2014

Even though this year is coming to an end, we are still improving our offerings for next year.

On Friday, the Indiana Chamber will address the Public Policy Council and provide its annual Legislative Preview with a specific focus on what issues will have the biggest impact on Indiana businesses and generate the most debate during the upcoming General Assembly. This free event will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Chamber.

As we build for 2014, we are still accepting responses for our 2013 Membership Survey. Visit our website at www.terrehautechamber.com to access the survey and offer your input. Additional planning under way includes: Public Policy Agenda, Committees, Calendar of Events and the Sponsorship and Marketing Opportunities Guide. Updates will be posted on the website.

And for our final event of the year, mark your calendars for the Annual Chamber Open House from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Chamber. All members are welcome to stop by and celebrate the holiday season at this informal brunch event.