Is there a word cringy-er than networking?  Does it have to be that way?  Building relationships is essential to modern life and business and we believe most people are inherently good so why does networking feel like such a chore? We asked some very bright folks for their thoughts and have shared their perspectives below.

Phoenix Niewidok | Upcycled Fashion Designer

When there vibe feels authentic and the first thing out of their mouth isn’t a pitch but more of conversation sharing interests. If your bragging about everything you do ,who you know and what you feel you can do for me before I have a second sip of my drink my Fake Player Alert tells me to walk away. Read more>>

Miguel Garzón Martínez | Film Director and Screenwriter

Personally, I am very shy and I have a hard time approaching people and talking to them unless I feel there is a clear motivation to do so. In the same way, when someone approaches me at an event and talks to me, it helps to find a common ground that we can share and that will serve as the basis of the conversation. Most of the time, this common ground is a given because it will be related to the event itself. I work as a writer and director in films, so my the main kind of events that I attend are film festivals. Read more>>

Tiffany Skyers | Graphic Designer & Fine Artist

In all reality I don’t have a problem getting to know every one who approaches me. I don’t consider avoidance until after I get to know them. In the past, it has been a 25% chance that I need to avoid someone I met at an event. Usually those who come are looking to better themselves in knowledge of the arts or to just enjoy the environment. Negative energy, manipulation, or scheming are typically my deterrents. Read more>>

Penelope Cipriani | Gastronomic entrepreneur

What makes me want to connect with someone at a networking event is, first of all a good smile, a solid greeting (or introduction) and after that a good dialogue in which both parts have the chance to describe their businesses, future projects and share their opinions. What I avoid the most is someone who’s unilaterally leading the conversation and does not take the time to get from the other person. Read more>>