If you were wondering, or even if you were not wondering -- I'm going to inform regardless so it doesn't really matter either way, last year's Chamber Annual Dinner was my first ever "Networking Event" of any sorts. It was also the first time I had to figure out how to wear a cocktail dress and heels without freezing in 20 degree temperatures (I succeeded thanks to a long, black peacoat). I was completely clueless as far as what to expect, nervous, and feeling very out of place. Thankfully I was attending with Allison Beers, who I'm still convinced knows everyone who lives in Traverse City.
Allison introduced me to some extremely influential and important individuals, helped me to learn the best and most appropriate ways of distributing my business card and making introductions and also how to properly balance being social and professional at once. She also let me know that I was absolutely not allowed to take a photo of my meal to upload on to Facebook (I was cringing as I type that. I clearly had a lot to learn).
Well, with a year of experience under my belt, I really felt that I was going to head into the Chamber Annual Dinner completely prepared...and then they went and changed the entire format.
Instead of having groups sit at rounds of 10, there will be cocktail tables and a few tables and chairs. Instead of a formal (but still delicious) dinner and presentation throughout, we are going to be offered a delicious assortment of food and a short 45 minute presentation.
Judy Harrison and the Swingshift Band will even be on site to provide entertainment and -- I'm sure -- a whole lot of dancing.
I don't know about you, but I am excited. I think that this fresh take on the Chamber Annual Dinner is an excellent idea, even if I have to rework my entire game plan for the evening.
This year, I'll make sure to pack my dancing shoes as well as plenty of business cards. Hope to see you there --oh, and make sure to stop by the Traverse City Young Professionals Pre-reception from 4:30-5:30pm in Aerie!