On Tuesday, July 24th, I had the pleasure of attending the Networking in the Hub event which was organized by Hempstead Uniondale Times (HU Times) editor Elseah W. Cheah. HU Times is an independent community based newspaper that connects communities of color to positive news in the local Hempstead, Long Island area.
I do not even know how to begin describing the Networking in the Hub event. I could probably write a series on the different aspects of the event; networking, keynote speakers, honored community leaders, government leaders, music, art, community engagement, the list goes on.
The event took place at the African-American Museum, a place I had not visited since I was a child. I was amazed at the beautiful layout and also inspired to be more involved in the museum events. The exhibit on Afro-Brazilian Rhythms in Art by Brasilian artist Ernani Silva, served as the backdrop of the event. The minute I entered the museum I was captivated by the stark contrast of the white museum walls and the vibrant colors of the paintings. I love colors and after being momentarily paralyzed by the beauty of the paintings, I soaked in my surroundings.
The museum was filled with business owners, community members, and government officials; all connected by the common interest of networking to build a community of business minded individuals. The event commenced with Wayne J. Hall, Mayor of the Village of Hempstead and Phil Andrews, President of 100 Black Men of Long Island, introducing and honoring several members of the community: Leone Baum, Don Durant, and Hon. Max Rodriguez. These individuals were honored, not because of their professions, but for the impact they have made on the community and their ability to make it a better place.
The day continued with empowering and informative keynote addresses from Phil Andrews and Gail Lewis, owner of The Communication Depot.
Phil Andrews discussed how business owners can increase their bottom line by networking. This keynote address was informative, as I learned:
►The more you give, the more you gain.
►Give value for value.
►Become a good listener because if you don’t listen well, you cannot serve your customer.
►Give something your customer needs and wants.
►The longer you stay in a network, the more value you gain.
►It takes time to know, like, and trust individuals.
►Join something that is going somewhere.
Gail Lewis’ keynote was on crafting an elevator pitch that highlights your business. This was an important presentation and appropriate for the event, as I learned:
►Pitch your business in an exciting way.
►Communicate to others that you are the best, by utilizing an elevator pitch.
►In an elevator pitch: describe the product or service, the value of your product or service, be excited, highlight your unique properties, be knowledgeable, use describing words, handout your business card, ask for business, and say thank you.
The evening ended with the owners of the African-American Museum discussing the importance of uplifting our communities and working together. They stressed the importance of preserving our culture and getting out of our homes to engage with our community and culture. It was inspiring to hear them speak and I felt encouraged to be more involved with event happenings at the museum.
Overall, I had a great time and was able to network with over 60 business owners, government officials, and community members. Networking in the Hub was a great event that celebrated business, community, and entrepreneurship.
What are some great networking events you have attended?
An urban planning PhD student finding peace in creating a balance between the mind, body, soul, & environment.