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Getting the most out of your networking calendar

Richard Adams

Richard Adams

As the bar year gets started and annual dues notices are received and paid, you’ve probably noticed that your calendar has exploded with all sorts of amazing and noteworthy events. New committee meetings, welcome back happy hours, networking lunches and dinners. For those of you raising children, you’ve got all the school events to tangle with, too.

So how do you maximize your time? After all, some of those events may produce some great leads and referrals to other potential leads. The more you engage a group and get involved, the more likely you’ll continue to establish rapport and trust while also simply getting your name and face out there. Still, you should try to prioritize. Unless you are a superhero, you can’t possibly attend everything, every time. Shuffling your events around, canceling at the last minute or, more significantly, over-promising your ability to attend an event or get involved in an organization can have short-term and long-term consequences.

To help combat this, I highly recommend leveraging the resources around you. Take the time to learn and understand how to use a good calendar software. I calendar everything as a “hold” until I confirm the time and location with the other attendee. In the notes section, I indicate whether or not I have registered/RSVP’d and so on. Create a system and use it to help stay organized. This way, when you receive a reminder the day before a sold-out event, you won’t have to sweat it.

If you start to feel overwhelmed, then be honest with yourself and others and dial back. After all, even though some these events incorporate social aspects, it’s often really just “work” – and you need some “me time” and “family time” on your calendar, too.

If you are looking to add more events, try to be creative. Join a local chamber of commerce, an alumni association, or a nonprofit group that supports something you are passionate about. Join something that isn’t centered on lawyers or the legal field. Do so, and you might find out that you’re suddenly the only lawyer in the room – and thus an invaluable resource to all the other attendees.

Do any of our readers have any suggestions as to managing a busy calendar.

Richard Adams is an associate with Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLP in Baltimore.