For the past four years, the spring season has brought not only the inevitable tourists and cherry blossoms and warm weather and allergies to the Washington area, but also the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce's annual Mega Networking and Social Event (MegaNT). This year, CAGLCC and dozens of other professional, networking and social groups are inviting LGBT people from every walk and every corner of the region to connect with thousands of other LGBT and allied professionals to mix, mingle and have a great time at Town Danceboutique, all while exchanging a business card or two – or 1,500.
To date, the organizations partnering with CAGLCC to ensure a wide range of attendees include (but are not limited to): the DC Ice Breakers, the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL), Metro DC PFLAG, Miss Gay DC America Regional Pageant, Latino GLBT History Project, Mautner Project, Burgundy Crescent Volunteers, Whitman-Walker Health, The DC Center, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and dozens of others. You can see from the list – local, regional, national, sports, social, advocacy – everyone who is anyone will be at this event.
Attendees at the 2011 CAGLCC MegaNT
(Photo by Ward Morrison/Metro Weekly)
Megan Wallace of Wallace Law LLC (an LGBT certified supplier and member of CAGLCC) has attended the MegaNT for the past three years and says that 2012 will be no exception. ''I haven't missed a MegaNT yet, and I don't plan to start this year! While I always enjoy all of CAGLCC's events, the MegaNT is extra special. Thousands of people are there. It's more like a networking party than a buttoned-up meet and greet.''
Wallace adds that the MegaNT draws not only the ''regular crowd,'' but also ''all of their friends and business contacts. If a colleague has been suggesting that she or he introduce you to a potential client, then that introduction is likely to happen at the MegaNT.''
Just as Wallace has, many attendees have used the MegaNT as an opportunity to meet not only new clients, but to encourage a more personal relationship that ultimately adds to professional relationships with business contacts. The relaxed atmosphere allows conversations to flow freely, leading to closer business and professional relationships in the days to come.
Megan says it best when she describes the MegaNT's value to her business and personal life: ''The business connections are great, but it's the personal relationships that keep me coming back and telling other business owners about CAGLCC. When I opened my office several years ago, I tapped several members of CAGLCC to help me with everything from website design to stationery. The MegaNT is like a one-night microcosm of my entire CAGLCC experience.''
So, now the word is out. You should attend the MegaNT, and you should expect a relaxed atmosphere where you'll meet new clients, old clients, new friends, old friends, and the guy who used to walk your dog. Get there early, because the event will be shoulder-to-shoulder people (expect a line like people are waiting to see Madonna) within minutes of the doors opening.
The CAGLCC MegaNT is Wednesday, March 14, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th St. NW. Pre-register at meganetworkingdc.com.
The Chamber means business. For more information about the Chamber, go to caglcc.org.