Article by Carolyn Price
Photos by Sophia Coulter
Why focus on networking? Because connections matter. This January, the Vancouver Board of Trade hosted its Annual LOT Speed Networking Night at Beyond, a restaurant at the Century Plaza Hotel in Vancouver. The event drew nearly 100 students and mentors, and proved to be a fast, action-packed evening. Whether you are connecting with a potential employer or learning about other industries, networking plays an important role in how we do business. With LOT students soon graduating and entering the workforce, their ability to develop and expand their professional network is becoming more and more important.
Upon arrival, guests were paired up and seated at a numbered table with another pair. For the course of the evening, one pair remained seated, while the other pair rotated to a different table every five minutes. This translated anywhere from 20 – 30 new contacts over one evening. “One tip that we suggest to help you is to write on the back of the business cards,” said Emma Leigha Munro, a Marketing and Design student at Langara College. “A brief note, something short and simple that will spark your memory about what you discussed and how you might be able to help that person in the future.”
As attendees learned more about their partners, some began introducing them to other people at subsequent tables. “This event was excellent,” said A.J. Ahmad, a student at Business Administration student at Simon Fraser University. “I actually got to meet a lot of new faces. A lot of mentors that I didn’t know were in the program.” Following the hour of networking, guests were free to mingle over appetizers. From the high energy of conversations that ensued, the night succeeded in generating a number of new connections, and attendees walked away with fresh insights and new connections.
Finally, students were not the only ones to learn and apply skills this evening. Prior to the networking event, mentors heard from Brian Best ( Director of Warehousing & Distribution for London Drugs), Grace Mok (CA & Internal Controls at BC Hydro) and Ray Williams ( President of Ray Williams Associates). This interactive session provided new and experienced mentors a chance to share best practices and develop one another’s skills.
LOT is made possible with the support of the following program partners:
- Platinum Program Sponsor: BCIT School of Business
- Gold Program Sponsors: London Drugs, Lifelabs, SFU Beedie School of Business, UBC Sauder School of Business
- Silver Sponsors: BC Hydro, Citywide Printing, HSBC Bank Canada, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Langara School of Management, Labatt Breweries of Canada, Scotiabank
- Event Sponsors: BCIT School of Business, Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC, HSBC Bank Canada, The Vancouver Sun and Province
Beyond Restaurant & Lounge
This event was presented by the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Leaders of Tomorrow Mentorship Program.