Marquee events are the “must attend” events such the annual chamber business awards or board of trade gala, signature events of business magazines, or the top charity events in your city such as the annual children’s hospital fundraiser or Variety Club dinner. These annual marquee events usually happen around the same time every year so you can plan ahead. Marquee events are also those breakfasts, luncheons or dinners when the top business leaders in your community come out to speak.
It is important to watch for other marquee events that may only be announced a month (or less) before the event. This could be a key political figure or “speaker circuit stars” such as Richard Branson, Hillary Clinton, David Foster, or even Obama–who is now on the speaker circuit!
Even if you may not be fascinated by the speaker or the topic it doesn’t matter. The logic follows like this: most people go to certain events during the year, but pretty much everyone in the business world shows up to the big events. It’s a great chance to connect with people you may not see on a regular basis. And if you really want to raise your profile, consider buying a table at these events or becoming one of the sponsors. There is usually a VIP reception where you will not only get to meet the speaker, but also connect with others invited to this special event.
What are the marquee networking events in your community this year and have you made a commitment to yourself that you will say yes, and attend?
-Written by Judy Thomson, Gayle Hallgren-Rezac and Darcy Rezac, business networking speakers and authors of Work The Pond! Use The Power of Positive Networking to Leap Forward in Work and Life (Penguin/Prentice Hall) Shepa Learning Company