Here are a couple of signs that you attended the wrong networking event:
Lady Lecturer - bad format for new business. Most people attend new events for meeting people to create new relationships that result in business. It really is not a good idea to start lecturing the event attendees about business protocol in an attempt to snag new business. Here is the deal ... I really do not need a coach, but if I wanted one I would just ask - especially since I am not new to networking. Even more annoying, lady lecturer introduced the speaker at this particular luncheon and it was quite obvious that she did not even look at the speaker bio. She instead prattled on about herself and what she does for a living. Hello? Not about you lady lecturer -- and the poor speaker looked pretty reluctant to go up to the stage after her little performance.
Schizophrenic Meeting Agenda. If you are president of your organization, you need to stay in control of the meeting or at least have an agenda that makes sense. We attended a meeting last week that turned out to be a recruitment rally for a new organization. Let's just say the meeting agenda was all over the place, and the information disseminated really did not make a whole lot of logical sense. If your agenda is not making sense, I am pretty sure you are not going to get volunteers for the vice president of craziness position. The highlight of the meeting was when a new member stood up, gave her introduction, and basically asked if she could update us on the economy during lunch. Instead of squashing the craziness, we proceeded to listen to hear about how all of the banks will be shutting down in the next three days, a new currency will be issued, not to be frightened but to liquidate everything immediately. At this point, I was absolutely about to lose it in a fit of giggles. When I am sleep deprived, it really does not help my self control ... and by this point the meeting really went way off the radar.
I pledge Allegiance to What? I am a proud American and am perfectly fine with saying the Pledge of Allegiance to start meetings. Although, I have not said the Pledge of Allegiance since grade school, I do realize some networking groups start with this. The kicker happened when everyone had to turn around and say the Pledge to something that resembled a lawn ornament stolen from some party last 4th of July - thank God someone pointed out the "real" American flag in the room. I am really proud of myself for getting through this event.
My overall advice ... be wary of new groups and try to get the inside skinny before you spend two hour of your time subjected to the craziness.