Category Archives: Network-and-Lunch
We met for the first Network-and-Lunch of 2013 at the Ellipse Lounge at the Fairview Park Marriott hotel in Falls Church, VA. Thanks to Jay Morris, Connie Rhind Robey, David Hyson, Leah Ibraheem, Vicki Robb, Stephen Menick, and Matthew Mutterpaul for attending.
We talked about our plans for the New Year, Vicki Robb’s new position as President of IPRA, Leah’s new job launching a digital division for a local agency, Connie’s print company plans, Stephen’s video producing work, and what a PR agency run by Downton Abbey characters might look like.
Lunch was delightful. The restaurant is one of my favorite places to visit. We are always treated very kindly, and we were given a beautiful table. We all had soup and sandwiches.
It was fun. Looking forward to seeing new faces and old friends at the February “Mardi Gras” lunch on the 12th.
Every month, we get together with a group of communicators and business professionals for lunch. Here’s why you may want to attend the Network-and-Lunch events in 2013…
- Affordable. These lunches are free to register and you only pay for the cost of your meal, and chip in for the tip. In many cases, this amounts to between $10 and $15.
- Flexible. At Netw0rk-and-Lunch events, you pick your own food. So it’s easy to stay on your diet, or pick a vegetarian option, for example. We picked a variety of cuisines and settings for the monthly lunches, so you’re sure to find something you like.
- Convivial. Our group lunches are small and informal, usually between 4 and 8 people attend. This gives us all the time we want to talk to shop, or talk about other things. You really get to know the people who come to our events. And the people are the best aspect of these events. We attract a diverse group of interesting professionals. You will almost always meet someone new, too.
- Convenient. We schedule these events all over the DC area, soliciting feedback from attendees, and at least half of them are close to Metro stops. We want to make it easy for working people to participate.
- Useful. Got a dilemma at work? Need input on an idea? Our lunches are a perfect opportunity to solicit feedback or get quick answers to your work questions.
- Year-round. Not much happens in July and August in DC, but we still have Network-and-Lunches. It’s a great time to connect, when schedules are typically less hectic.
Network-and-Lunch events take place on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, at noon. Here’s the whole schedule of Network-and-Lunch events for 2013. I hope you will register for many — or all — of them! Register on Eventbrite.
- January 8: Fairview Park Marriott, Ellipse Lounge, Falls Church, VA
- February 12: RT’s Restaurant, Alexandria, VA (Mardi Gras)
- March 12: The Tabard Inn, Washington, DC (Metro: Dupont Circle)
- April 9: Neisha Thai, Washington, DC (Metro: Tenleytown-AU)
- May 14: Taverna Cretekou, Alexandria, VA (Old Town)
- June 11: Lia’s, Chevy Chase, MD (Metro: Friendship Hts)
- July 9: Silver Diner, Falls Church, VA (Merrifield area)
- August 13: National Gallery of Art, Cascade Cafe, Washington, DC (Metro: Archives)
- September 10: Lebanese Taverna, Bethesda, MD (Metro: Bethesda)
- October 8: Olive Garden, Tysons Corner, VA
- November 12: Cactus Cantina, Washington, DC (Cathedral area)
- December 10: Clyde’s, Chevy Chase, MD (Metro: Friendship Hts.)
At the beginning of this year, I was thinking about how I enjoyed many of the networking events I attended, but I felt frustrated at not being able to have more extended conversations with the fascinating professionals I met. I was also starting to “meet” people through social media — through the Fletcher Prince Twitter profile, blog, and Facebook Page — but I hadn’t met many of these new friends in person.
That’s when I decided to experiment with having monthly networking lunches, keeping the group size small (10 or under) so we could really connect. David and I organized events in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. We used Eventbrite for registration and promotion, and we were happy with it. It’s also free, if your event is free. A terrific, organizing and social tool.
I think the experiment was a big success. We didn’t charge for the lunches; everyone just paid their own way. For the most part, we selected restaurants where lunch would cost $15 or less. Sometimes the turnout was low because some people didn’t show, but every lunch felt like a winner because that just gave us more of a chance to share and talk. And the company, conversations and food were always excellent! Thanks to everyone who shared lunch with David and me this year.
Here’s where we went -
- February – Mardi Gras lunch at RT’s Restaurant in Alexandria, VA (Creole/Cajun)
- March – Cherry Blossom lunch at Teaism in Washington, DC (Japanese)
- April – Lunch at Jaleo in Bethesda, MD (Spanish)
- May – Lunch at Pilin Thai in Falls Church, VA (Thai)
- June – Lunch at Spice Xing in Rockville, MD (Indian)
- July – Lunch at La Madeleine in Alexandria, VA (French)
- August – Lunch at Silver Diner in Falls Church, VA (American diner)
- September – Lunch at Whitlow’s on Wilson in Arlington, VA (American pub)
- October and November lunches were cancelled because of illness
- December – Holiday lunch at Clyde’s in Chevy Chase, MD (American)
Today, we are having the last lunch of 2012, at noon, at Clyde’s in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It’s “officially” sold out but we’ll make room for you if you show up.
We sponsor all kinds of events, from free seminars to mini golf tournaments, to get-together lunches and parties. Like us on Facebook to keep tabs on what we’ll be doing in 2013!
We had our eighth “Network-and-Lunch” event today. Today, we met at Whitlow’s on Wilson in Arlington, Virginia, which was a good day to go to Whitlow’s because their burgers are half-off on Mondays.
Joining me and David were independent PR consultants Leah Ibraheem and Lorelei Harloe, as well as Arlington County librarian Michael Larose and Washington Business Journal business development account executive Todd Rhoden.
What was funny is that in our small group Todd and Michael both hail from New Orleans! And everyone else had been to New Orleans, so we had fun talking about the area and where to find authentic Louisiana cuisine around here.
We learned some hot business tips today. Todd and Leah both thought the Reston Chamber of Commerce offered excellent networking opportunities. Todd also vouched for Prince William and Arlington Chambers of Commerce. So I will have to check those out. Lorelei told us about an interesting WNG event coming up about digital and traditional media publishing — look for more information on that when the event is posted this fall. I shared about the upcoming Digital East conference in Herndon.
We also discussed whether to continue the Network-and-Lunch events in 2013, and various options, such as making them paid events, or mixing up the times and types of activities. We’ll be surveying participants for their opinions through December.
The time flew by. Looking forward to seeing you at the October Network-and-Lunch event in Washington, DC.
At every lunch we organize, we always meet new and fascinating communicators, and Tuesday’s lunch was no exception. David and I enjoyed our talks with Donna Vincent Roa and Deborah Brody on a rain soggy Tuesday, June 12. We met at Spice Xing in Rockville, MD.
Since it was just the four of us, we were able to have some fascinating, in-depth discussions, and the hour and a half flew by. Donna and Deborah were especially informed on environmental issues, and where to get the best organic food. We talked quite a bit about water and environmentalism, and Donna told us about a project she is working on related to water and infrastructure. It was fascinating to learn about that. Deborah is my go-to person on Twitter for political insights and she had much to share on that score. David and I talked about our work with the Bahrain Coordinating Committee and were happy to have two more people to inform. We also talked about the challenges of appearing on YouTube, and how to present yourself and your business in the best way on video.
Donna presented us all with copies of her incredibly useful book, The Ultimate To Do List: Before and After the Funeral. I learned so much from Donna and Deborah about funeral customs across cultures and the new “green” approaches to dealing with the end of life. I’m looking forward to reading it.
David and I shared copies of our 2012 Social Media Survival Guide.
Spice Xing in Rockville Town Center offers an Indian lunch buffet. The food was delicious and not as heavy as some Indian lunch buffets — everything had a light touch. There were some nice salads, Tandoori chicken, an especially wide variety of chutneys and raitas. The richly spiced rice pudding was dessert. The decor was appealing and classy, and the service was excellent.
Join us in July!
Our next Network and Lunch event will be at La Madeleine in Old Town, Alexandria (Virginia) on Tuesday, July 10. Register today and join us for conversation on social media, public relations, and design, and French cafe style food. See you then!
We had another fun monthly network-and-lunch event yesterday, this time at Pilin Thai in Falls Church, Virginia.
Attending were David Hyson, Mary Fletcher Jones, Susan Rink, Robert Udowitz, and Connie Rhind. Heathere Evans-Keenan made a quick stop to say hello.
As usual, the conversation revolved around public relations and communications projects. We discussed best practices for handling pro bono work, as well as the merits of wireless press release services. Susan was excited to introduce Connie Rhind to the independent practitioners group, IPRA. Susan is doing some very interesting internal communications work for one of her clients, Wal-Mart. Robert is launching a new blog for his company, RFP Associates, and gave us a quick preview of the art for the blog. David shared about the 508 compliance design work he is doing for Deloitte and CSC, and explained how 508 compliance is becoming a requirement for certain federal government projects.
The setting was perfect for discussion and the meal was delicious and a real lunchtime bargain. Fletcher Prince organizes monthly network-and-lunch events all over the Washington, DC area. The next netw0rk-and-lunch event will take place at Spice Xing in Rockville, Maryland, on Tuesday, June 12. Please register and join us!
Every month, Fletcher Prince organizes a networking lunch at a different location in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. We do this to connect with other communicators and talk “shop” and basically enjoy ourselves. (But everyone is welcome — you certainly do not have to be a communicator to network with us.)
On April 24, we had our third Network-and-Lunch event, this time, at Jaleo in Bethedsa, Maryland. David and I were joined by Leah Ibraheem and Connie Rhind Robey.
We were struck by the fact that we met through Twitter. I had been following Leah’s blog for some time before I met her for the first time this spring. This was my first meeting with Connie; she noticed my profile when I tweeted about the Smithsonian Craft Festival, and decided to sign up for the lunch (She handled public relations for the Festival this year.)
Although we had a smaller number of people this time, it was a delightful lunch, and we had some terrific conversation about fine craft works, public relations, social media, and working as independent consultants. The hour and half flew by.
The lunch was reasonable and the decor of Jaleo was gorgeous. For $12, we had the choice of sandwich and a half salad. We sampled beet and orange salads, and a type of apple slaw with manchego cheese, along with lamb and Spanish grilled cheese sandwiches.
Be sure to join us on May 15 when we will meet at Thai Pilin in Falls Church. The lunch special is $7.95 (in fact, I had it today!) and is really delicious.
- March Network and Lunch Attendees (fletcher-prince.com)
- Event Report: February Network-and-Lunch (fletcher-prince.com)