• September 2018

Make networking work for you

By Deborah McIsaac
Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

We all know networking can be an effective and efficient way to promote yourself and your business. For some, that might be easier said than done, though. Your chamber membership can be a strategic tool that helps you maximize networking opportunities. The Chamber offers two high profile events each month to help you in your efforts to network. The Mixer and the Mingle are intentionally designed with a different purpose and vibe, so you can pick the format that you prefer – or take advantage of both opportunities! The goal is to provide you a path to success by increasing your sphere of influence.

The Membership Mixer is our largest networking event. The member organizations who sponsor the Mixers not only want to educate our community about their organization, but also understand the value of members coming together. Mixers are typically held the second Tuesday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The attendance varies from 200-300 people.

Chamber members also sponsor Morning Mingles, an early morning opportunity to gather over Caribou Coffee and schmearfuls (cream cheese stuffed bagel bites). Morning Mingles start bright and early at 7:30 a.m. and wrap up by 9 a.m. The venues are typically smaller than Mixers, and attendance varies from 40-100 people. The scale of Mingles can be appealing to those who prefer smaller crowds.

There are three distinct differences between these events. The Mixer has a more formal program, encouraging attendees to stay until the end. Mingles are more casual, members can flow in and out as their schedule allows. Mixers have historically provided a robust food and drink menu. Mingles are simply making connections over a cup of coffee. Mixers have a $5 admission charge while Mingles are free to attend.

Each event has a registration table, where your chamber activities crew will greet you with a smile. You may drop your business card for door prizes as well as grab a name tag if you need one. If you are new to the event, you may also be connected to one of our Diplomats to bring you into the fold and meet new people. Bascially – we´ll do our best to help you form connections at our networking events!

If networking still sounds daunting, a new program is available for you. Networking 101 is part of our Business Sense Workshop series and is scheduled the day before or the day of the Mixer each month. Val Pugsley-Tischler, PUSH Personal Development Coach, facilitates Networking 101. She provides tips and techniques to make any networking event a valuable and productive experience. Each session is unique, so you can attend as many times as you´d like to keep improving your skills.

Attending networking events is just one of your many benefits of Chamber membership. If you would like more information about these events or any of your other membership benefits, please call our office at (605) 336-1620.

Thank you to our Chamber News Premium Sponsors

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