My friend, Courtenay Rogers, is an incredibly well networked person. She is president of the Nashville chapter of the American Marketing Association (NAMA) and is co-founder and COO of the upcoming conference, Girls To The Moon. This week I interviewed her about the importance of networking and to share more about this important event for young girls.
How has networking helped shape your career?
I've always enjoyed meeting new people and it's a natural part of my life. I'm a Navy brat, so moving every two years growing up forced me to make new friends very quickly. Being the new kid in class so often helped me grow up to be the person who walks up to a group of people and says hello. I'm still that way today.
I'm a connector. My passion in life is to connect good people doing good things with others who can help. Networking needs to be about the big picture of helping others and if you're expecting something in return, ultimately you're not going to be successful.
What is your best networking tip for marketing professionals or those attending local industry events?
The best advice I can give is to get the list of attendees before the event if you can. Then look up the people you want to connect with on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter. Also, if the event has a hashtag, make sure you check it out and see what people are saying and connect with those folks, too.
What is Girls to the Moon?
GTTM is a social enterprise company focused on empowering young girls ages 8 to 14. We're starting with a one-day campference (mix between a camp-style unconference and a conference) in Nashville on Sept. 26 that brings girls together to build their curiosity and creativity, strengthen their relationships and grow their confidence to become leaders.
Girls to the Moon is about surrounding the next generation of girls with truth and education on topics ranging from creative writing and coding to healthy relationships and sex. We want to be a catalyst for conversation about how girls should love themselves, feel comfortable in their own skin and become the best humans they can be.
Do men and women network with one another differently? If so, how?
I think men and women are different, period. So yes, they would naturally network differently. I notice that women ask more personal questions while men keep it a lot more superficial and focused on business. Neither is bad. I personally like different.
Girls to the Moon sounds like an amazing opportunity for girls from 8 to 14. What key lessons do you want them to take away from the conference?
It's super simple: We want these girls to love themselves, love others and know that they have absolutely every opportunity to do whatever they want in life.
What is the best way for new relationships born at Girls to the Moon or elsewhere at other conferences to be nurtured so they last years instead of days?
Our goal is to eventually build an app for the girls to use to stay connected, but for the first campference, we're going to make sure they exchange emails and use the hashtag #gttm15 in their conversations so they can connect on social media as well. The younger crowd will probably ask for phone numbers. My daughter has my business card and hands it out to her friends, so she can connect with them after school. We do have a great email list that people can join to keep up with all things GTTM on our website.
Be sure to learn more about this conference at girlstothemoon.com.
This article originally appeared in The Tennessean newspaper.