3. The normal (formalish) networking events
Probably, I’ve written enough about these ones. I have nothing new to say.
You can read the following articles on networking later:
- How to Get and Keep a Mentor: Why Nobody Wants Your Coffee Offer http://bit.ly/2GUcC5D
- How I Overcame Being a Bad Networker http://bit.ly/2FdNEB1
2. Funerals, weddings, or any event that is at someone’s home
After the graveside service, we go back to the deceased’s home to wash hands and of course, eat. We cannot come to bury a person and not eat.
Immediately after eating comes what is labeled ‘The After Tears.’
This is an event (lack of a better word) were those who attended the funeral, gather to drink over banter. Well, even those who didn’t attend do join. I know people who prefer not to go the burial but to show up at the ‘after tears.’ I’ve done it several times.
Normally it is held closer to the deceased’s home – on their street and/or neighbours’ yards. Sometimes there’s music coming out from someone’s boot. To keep the dignity, the music should at least be a house away.
It carries on until dusk if not very late (depending on how popular the deceased was). Some even take it to the clubs.
In Pretoria ‘after tears’ are referred to as ‘wie sien ons’ (it’s Afrikaans) but pronounced ‘veesinons’ – which translates to ‘who sees us’. I am told it came to be when after funerals in townships, women – rather those who were helping out with the general hospitality (cooking and catering) – asked ‘who sees us with drinks’, meaning ‘someone please fix [buy] drinks for us’, because they’ve been working and therefore they need refreshments, i.e. alcohol.
If the deceased was popular, it’ will be packed, and it will be a dress to kill situation – g’dliwa ukotini baba.
This sort of networking is not popular among the white community.
Weddings are awesome. I prefer weddings that aren’t of my relatives. I get to do nothing but celebrate and have fun.
If it were family’s, I’d be working – i.e. hosting guests: bringing chairs for them, making sure there’s water, picking up the sail (marquee tent) if it falls, etc.
At all these places, everyone’s guard is down. Basically, you can find yourself sitting with a decision making somebody.
Government officials like after tears. And this is good if tenders are your thing.
In fact, at any event that is held at someone’s house, professional gate-keeping guards are down.
You can meet your future spouse; side chick/guy not excluded.
It is easy to network here since the conversations are just casual. That’s how good networking starts.
And the next time you guys meet, it is not hard to get along. You start off with reconnecting the banter you had when you first met, e.g. at the after tears – there is rapport already established. Then business talk, and then back to banter again.
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STARTUP PICNIC as the name suggests, is a picnic, but for entrepreneurs and business people. It is a place to unwind – it’s fun and casual.
Unlike at formal networking events (boring sometimes) where the main activity is people going “so what do you do” and the exchanging business cards with people who won’t reply to your emails (because they don’t think you are interesting), Startup Picnic has braai’ng, music, beer and fun games (e.g. volley ball, 5 aside soccer, water polo).
Just like weddings and funerals, a casual reconnection opportunity is created – for later.
Then later when you are roaming around in town, you bump into friends made at STARTUP PICNIC over a 5-aside soccer or volleyball game, you can go, “what are you doing in this area”. They go “I have offices in this area”. You get in business talk mode – then back to banter. You become good business friends and do business.
Startup Picnic hosts a range of entrepreneurs, business-people, media, accelerators/incubators, venture capitalists, angel investors and various stakeholders in the South African business community.
It’s an opportunity to unwind, make friends, get active, play and tie relationships.