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Food spread from Ignite Bar and Grille features a selection of sandwiches and infused waters. Photo courtesy of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.




Lunchtime Connections

When: Tuesday, May 19, from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, 54 Hanover St., Manchester
Contact: Call 666-6600 or visit manchester-chamber.org/programs-events/chamber-calendar-of-events
Pre-registration required. 




Handshakes and sandwiches
Chamber holds lunchtime networking

05/14/15
By Allie Ginwala aginwala@hippopress.com



 For new business owners looking to network in a small environment or for seasoned professionals with little time to spare for events before and after the work day, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce has created Lunchtime Connections. It happens on the third Tuesday of every month and is a gathering that gives chamber members the opportunity to share with and learn about others in the community.

The whole point of this lunch is to build referral bases, not to sell [a product], but get to know about everyone in the room,” Shawnda Misina, director of membership development, said in a phone interview. “It’s always encouraged that you find someone in the room you can meet for coffee in the next week. It’s about building a trusting relationship.”

To make sure everyone gets the most out of the event, each lunch hosts 25 people all representing different businesses. Lunchtime Connections starts with half an hour of open networking and a time to enjoy lunch from Ignite Bar and Grille, food sponsor for the event. Ignite provides a variety of unique sandwiches that are separate from those available on the regular menu, along with a salad and infused water drink.

The networking portion kicks off with a facilitator going around the room three times asking a series of questions. Misina said the first round is usually for elevator pitches and the second and third are questions that vary based on the facilitator.

Every facilitator asks different questions, like ‘What would you want other people to say [about you] behind your back?’” she said. “[The goal] is really to just get to know each member better and know how to refer [them].”

Some business people, Misina said, use this smaller, structured event as a way to prepare for larger networking settings.

You’re going to leave there knowing more intimately 24 new businesses,” she said, “[which] makes it more comfortable for a larger networking event.”

It’s one of three lunch events held each month; Misina said the chamber chose this time slot to help business people with busy schedules.

What we find is a lot of people have business before hours and business after hours, but we have a lot of families with kids … so this lunch meeting helps people who maybe can’t attend the other events. … This still gives them an opportunity,” she said. 

As seen in the May 14, 2015 issue of the Hippo.






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