[BLANK] is The New Golf: New Ways to Network for Modern Business
We recently polled our alumni of more than 1,600 women in the finance and investing industry with the question about what advice they would share with their 22-year old self. One answer that appeared more than once:
“Learn to play golf.”
We have been thinking about this answer. Why should women learn play golf? I’m terrible at golf and really never learned how to play. I wish I could play, but I don’t wish it enough to actually learn to play. So why encourage young women to play this sport?
The answer is of course that our male counterparts love golf. Any given sunny day in spring, summer and fall, they are out of the office and out on the ol’ golf course talking not only about their pars and birdies but also wheeling, dealing and most importantly bonding – they are establishing trust and rapport that will make their future business relationships easier to close. So, what this advice is really saying to young women is that if you want to be part of those business deals, you better be out on the course.
But is that really the answer? Ultimately, it comes down to one thing: building relationships. Do women have to learn how to play golf to build relationships? Are there not other alternative society-approved options for work-and-play networking?
Kayo exists because we believe there are more effective and dare we say, more modern ways to network as we approach 2020. When you think about what makes golf appealing, and more importantly, networking effective, it comes down to the connections you make with someone when you find something in common with them.
Let’s are the days of Mad Men martini lunches and hitting a birdie (that’s what it’s called right?) and in are new ways to network in this modern world (for women AND men). Here are some of our favorites. What are yours?
SPORTY EXPERIENCES, OTHER THAN GOLF
From cycling classes to bouldering to boxing studios to axe throwing and bowling, there countless ways to bond over fun sports-inspired activities. Places like Top Golf and luxury bowling alleys make it easy for businesses to rent meeting space then hit the gams. These are perfect places to bond over shared (and sometimes silly) experiences, get a little bit competitive, and step outside your office walls.
GO TO A MUSEUM OR EXHIBIT
Many museums have meeting rooms, and nothing says a change of scenery like soaking in some culture during your workday. In fact, you can join us in July at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C. where we will host 20 leaders in Private Equity for a tour the Queens of Egypt exhibit. It’s a nice way to showcase women in leadership, give us all something to discuss, and meet someone new in an unfamiliar environment.
Taking a potential lead or client to a music festival, brewery tour, performance or pop up could be the perfect opportunity to connect over a shared experience. It’s a good way to showcase the culture of your company and gives you an excuse to think differently for a day.
May I be so cliche’ and say to get off of the golf course and get in to the kitchen? Afterall, isn’t that a man’s place? (sorry, can’t help it). Seriously though, there are some amazing cooking classes these days in nearly every city, and men love them just as much. It’s a great experience for corporate events, entertaining clients and talking biz while rolling sushi or shaping gnocchi.
KAYO POP UPS AND EVENTS
We host five summits each year, but in addition, Kayo hosts lunches, pop-ups, and this year, our second annual Leadership Retreat. These events are intimate, casual, and curated to bring together a mix of women who have commonalities they may have not yet discovered. As the host, we make every effort to make these a place where you can avoid the awkward conversations and dive straight in to finding the right connections. Check out our list of events here.
What is the [BLANK] that has replaced the golf game in your networking playbook? (P.S. we do love golf here too and think it is a great way to network, it’s just not the only way anymore). Tell us in your comments below.