You probably don't even realize it but about an hour ago you just had a great networking opportunity but missed it. You were standing in line at Starbucks chatting with another business professional about the great spring weather.
It's time to stop hiding behind your laptop and take advantage of those "every day" networking opportunities that are passing you by at this very moment. As a freelancer, I get bored going to the same "15 second" elevator-speech type networking groups. These are great spots that you can network without really trying and have fun at the same time!
It's time to get out there and enjoy the warmer, spring temperatures but it's also a great time to take advantage of networking venues that may have completely slipped your mind:
Outdoor cafes and coffeehouses - I can't begin to tell you how many leads I've generated just by sitting at coffeehouses and cafes. Business professionals flock to these spots for meetings and appointments - just to get out of the office! Strike up a conversation while you're line and don't forget to bring your business cards. You never know who'll you'll meet!
Dog parks - Yes, dog parks! What better way to meet people than to talk about your mutual love of animals. If you are a city dweller, you probably will find the same people frequenting the local dog park - a great chance to get to know your neighbors and also to chat business as Fido and FiFi run around together!
Your kids' after-school events and sports activities - Another fun way to get to know other parents and maybe chat business in between baseball innings. You never know who they know, or what leads you have for them.
Exercise classes and the gym - This is another great hot spot to connect with people. You both share a love of exercise, so why not get to know the people in your yoga class or find a work out buddy? Not only will you have fun meeting people but you might make some lucrative business connections as well!