You reach into your mailbox and there it is… a notice from your high school alumnae association announcing your next reunion. No matter what year it might be… 5 to 60… the invitation can stir up a myriad of emotions.
Disbelief. Has all that time really passed?
Fear. Have I aged well? How will I look to my classmates?
Insecurity. Have I accomplished enough?
Anxiety. I haven’t kept in touch with most. Will I even have anything to say to those people anymore? Will my old gang even show up?
Image. What in the world do I wear?
All NEGATIVE emotions! But did that stop me? If you know me, you know I always seek out the POSITIVE. New experiences. New memories. So, I sent in my reservation for the big 40th year. And joined the Facebook group to connect with my classmates before the event. (All girls, BTW. Catholic school girls… for an all-girl only event, just like our high school days.)
So, with a brand new stand-out fuschia dress all sucked in by Spanx, I entered the ballroom of smiling women. Glowing, actually. All happy to be there, chatting like happy hummingbirds, flitting from grad to grad. Hugs, laughter, memories gushed all through the hall.
- The database you have is GOLDEN. If it is poorly tended, you get poor results. Unfortunately, with different groups handing off fragmented lists every five years, many of the women could not be found. Only 88 women out of a 642 class attended. Tend your database well!
- No matter how great the offer, how attractive an event, some people will never attend, just as some customers will never buy. Some don’t want to go. Some have no interest in reconnecting. Some never even heard about the event. Some gave into fears. Some are gone, sick or consider themselves too far away. Some just had date conflicts. Whatever the reason, you won’t sell everybody. Face it. Concentrate on pleasing those who do attend.
- Those who wanted to be there, were joyful. Even with doubts, fears, hurdles, and hardships, the reunion-ites reveled in camaraderie. celebrating the past, the present, and hopes for the future. It was a true community... the gregarious and the shy. The athletes and the mathletes. The fashionistas and the domestic divas. As in any networking event, the ones who show up GO UP in attitude and sales!
5. Promises are made. "Keep in touch," is the common echo, as the ladies drifted back to their cars and their neighborhoods, with the die-hards posting a flurry of photos and well wishes on Facebook, with vows to stay connected. But how many do? You've got to work the lead if you want to succeed, in business as with friendship.
6. It feels good to reconnect. It’s good for business. Networking is always exhilarating. It gets you out of the office and exposed to people. You never know where your next good lead is coming from. And your next good friendship as well. Yes, good networking is rich for the soul, too.