As someone who over the last few years has come to rely heavily on Twitter.com as a networking tool, I was happily surprised to discover last night that IRL can actually be even more fun sometimes!
IRL - or In Real Life - networking is scary, much more difficult that online networking, because we actually have to put ourselves out there. So it was with no small amount of trepidation that I went to the cpd23 Thing 7 tweet-up last night. Walking towards the pub, I'll admit I was nervous.
It is only once you've arrived and started talking to people that you remember how much fun real-life networking can be. Catching up with people, sharing current news, makes all the online networking that we do more real somehow. Face to face networking reminds us about how every other part of our networking life fits together.
I was also at the event last night as a representative of a spcial interest group, namely CDG. I was pleased that I managed to chat to a few people, including new professionals, about the group and the benefits of joining CILIP. The main criticism was that if people can go to events as non-members at only slightly more cost then members, what incentive is there to join? And I'm not sure about that really. Limiting events to members would remove a revenue source and make the group more elitist, but perhaps it would encourage membership. It is a risky strategy. I took the line that if you are a passive CILIP member then it is true that you do not get the most out of your subscription. You need to be actively engaged in order to fully be a part of a professional body. Everything that you experience as a committee member, the positive and the negative times, develop you both personally and professionally. And I think I even convinced one person to consider joining a committee, so my work there was certainly done!
Many thanks to the East of England CILIP branch for organising such a worthwhile event.