It’s interesting how the STC/SM casual networking events have evolved. The locations for our formal programs don’t vary a lot in order to keep them centrally located for a majority of our members. As a complement to the formal programs, our casual networking events were devised as a way for technical communicators to meet up closer to where they live.
And yet, at our most recent networking event, which was held in Royal Oak on Thursday, April 26, 2015, technical communicators traveled from Toledo, Canton, Novi, Auburn Hills, and Royal Oak to attend! I take this as a strong indicator of the perceived value of networking. In fact, when the topic came up about how best to land new jobs or new contracts, the #1 answer was—you guessed it—NETWORKING.
Those attending this event at the Bastone Brewery represented a wide range of experience developed over many years. That experience included technical writing, IT management, training development, ghost writing, Italian-to-English translation reviews (that was a first in all the years I’ve been attending these networking events!), content development, digital content writing for a local news affiliate, social media strategizing…and the list went on.
At these networking events, it’s always interesting to learn about the challenges people have faced in their jobs and the creative solutions they’ve come up with to address them. The Royal Oak event provided some of both. Even better, in a few cases the assembled group was able to provide new ideas and insight to those working through specific professional and career challenges.
Looking back, there were very few lulls in the conversation at our table at the Bastone Brewery—except the break when people ran out to feed more change into the parking meters. The fact that they came back to continue the conversation is, in my opinion, another strong indicator of the perceived value of these networking events!