networking outside

What’s the Point of Your Business Meetings Or Get Togethers?

When you bring people together for, or attend, a networking event, business meeting, workshop or conference, what’s the intention?

As the world opens, locks down, opens, locks down, opens, wear mask indoors, (am I the only one exhausted from the ambivalence?) I’ve been thinking a lot about how we get together.

After listening to Brené Brown interview Priya Parker, Author of The Art of Gathering, 3 different times on her podcasts , I’m rethinking EVERYTHING – my podcast, networking events and family gatherings.

And I’m not the only one.

From the Attendee Angle

On Tuesday I got a text from a friend/colleague. We’re getting together next week and she wrote:

Her: For when we get together: I feel like I need to start going to some things again but nothing appeals to me!

Me: You want to talk about options? Sounds good. I’ve been thinking the same.

Her: Yes! Intellectually I realize I need to do something to keep my business out there…Perhaps looking at the purpose behind wanting to gather? Re-reading that book!

Me: Yes! I’m re-reading the book, too!

(The book being The Art of Gathering).

From the Host/Facilitator Angle

I spoke to a prospect yesterday about providing a group workshop to her team. One area she’d like to develop, specifically for one person, is meeting facilitation.

“She doesn’t even greet people when they come in the room!” she said (somewhat exacerbated).

Have you ever walked into a meeting (on Zoom or in person) and NOT been greeted? I have and then immediately think, “Why did I bother?”

So, what can you do?

If you, too, are questioning the purpose and intention behind your meeting or event efforts, whether attending or hosting, below are a few highlights from the podcasts I mentioned that made me go “hmmmm”…

  • A gathering = 3 or more people. (FYI – if you host a podcast that is potentially a gathering – host, guest, listener)
  • If you’re the host/facilitator, ask yourself “What is the intention of the gathering?”
  • Set some ground rules (these can be fun or serious!) so people know how to engage.
  • The reason/topic for the gathering (ie, wedding, birthday, client meeting, etc) is NOT an intention.

(Curious about those podcasts? Tune in to learn more about how we gather, for insights on returning to gathering, or for a meeting makeover)

We live in a fast paced, digital, distracted (and diseased) world.

Which means more than ever we need human connection. And it can be done online. (Yes, it can. Please stop blaming the tools.)

Taking time to think more purposefully about WHY we get together – online or in person – matters if you want to feel comfortable AND make your efforts more productive and enjoyable.

Meetings and gathering do NOT have to bore or exhaust us IF you’re willing to do the work, #shedtheformality and figure out a better way.

Talk to me!

  • What was your favorite gathering EVER – work, business, personal. What made it so?
  • As your world opens up (and shuts down, then opens up again…) how will or do you ensure your gatherings are intentional for you and/or the people you’re hosting?

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About the blog

Humor, stories, and insights, delivered 2x per month, to perform without the pressure.

Topics include mental health, work, human connection, creativity and more.


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