LinkedIn Local Melbourne - Thoughts From a First-Time Attendee

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First, let me say that I am not affiliated with LinkedIn Local Melbourne, my only interaction so far has been to attend a LinkedIn Local Melbourne event last night. Why do I feel the need to say this? Well I’m involved in a number of meetup events and other networking activities, but also, and possibly more importantly, this post is likely to be full of praise and may seem like some sort of advertising (it isn’t).

The evening was held at WeWork (thanks for the hospitaility)! It started with networking, pizza and drinks. During this phase of the event I got to talk to people from a wide range of industries, most of them from outside my normal industry reach. It was amazing to see the similarities between industries, but also the differences; who knew the social services industry operates in a very agile manner, but gives it a different name?

We then sat down for a presentation by Megan Edwards that focussed on some LinkedIn profile optimisation (bordering on personal branding). I got some great tips from this, and also validation of a lot of what I am already doing.

At the end of the presentation we enabled the “Find Nearby” function on LinkedIn so we could easily find each other; and then got to give a short introduction to the rest of the attendees. I said something along the lines of “I’m an old-school, opinionated computer geek who’s wanting to move from development into a leadership role”; I didn’t use anywhere near my permitted 20 seconds, but it seemed to get a positive reception.

Immediately prior to the presentation I sat next to Sharon Li and we’d started talking. During her introduction she mentioned a desire to start a podcast, so before even returning to her seat I’d sent a message saying we need to talk. This could be the start of me branching into podcasting, or maybe I’ll just play a small part in Sharon’s journey down this path.

Following the presentation and introductions was some dancing thing. This is so far out of my comfort zone I don’t even have the desire to challenge it; I scampered to the kitchen for a “drink refill” where I discovered a few others who were disinclined to dance. For anyone attending these events in future, the dancing is not compulsory, feel free to join the introverts, uncoordinated and camera shy in avoiding it; no one will look down on you for this.

Once the dancing had ceased it was back to networking for a bit. I got to finally meet Mayet Ojeda who I’ve been interacting with on LinkedIn for quite a while. I also got to meet Emily Edgeley who helps geeks to develop presentation skills (seriously thinking I may seek out her services once I’ve finished my personal branding course).

As the formalities wrapped up a number of us continued to Rice Paper Scissors on Hardware Lane. The conversation was amazing and free flowing, and I made a couple of new connections (Mariam Riza and String Nguyen) who left me wanting to get to know them better and to see if there are opportunities for us to work together or help each other grow in the future.

Despite not getting home until well after bed time, and needing a second morning coffee to help me get started today, I highly recommend LinkedIn Local Melbourne to anyone who wants to grow themselves and extend their network.

This article was originally written as a series of 4 posts on LinkedIn.

The first post in the series can be found on my LinkedIn profile.