I’ve known about the awesome Propelle women’s networking happy hours for ages, but haven’t managed to make my way to one until last night. When I saw that the “guests of honor” for the happy hour were the No Name Players (Tressa Glover and Don DiGiulio), who are the driving force behind Pittsburgh’s SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day Celebration, I told myself it’s darn time I made it to that happy hour.
Sandy and I had the awesome opportunity to be interviewed for this year’s SWAN Day, so I’m totally looking forward to see what art came from those interviews of us and other Pittsburgh women ages 9 through 65. I wish I had some sort of artistic talent, but I really don’t. I was thrilled that this project gave me the opportunity to be part of the artistic process, even without talent.
The No Name Players are part of a $2,000 challenge grant right now. If they can raise $2,000, Martha Richards, the co-founder of SWAN Day has promised to match the funds. You can contribute at the No Name Players Webpage!
The Propelle happy hour was great. Even though it was a pretty large crowd, there was an opportunity for everyone to introduce themselves to the group. And boy was this a patient group! Everyone was attentive and interested. Introductions like that seem like such a minor thing, but there’s no way I would have made my way around the room to learn about everyone otherwise.
I also loved how the introductions facilitated their own conversations. You may not realize this, but I am painfully shy. If I’m in a group of people I already know and am comfortable with, I’m loud and outgoing. But a room full of people I don’t know is my personal hell. Going into a networking event takes a lot of preparation and thought for me, because I am so nervous about it. I think about thigs like “what kinds of questions should I ask people?” “what should I do to get into a conversation, if it feels like people are already occupied and chatting?” “what do I need to do to make sure that I move around the room and meet people, instead of meeting one person, getting comfortable chatting with them, and then making them crazy because I follow them around all night?” The introductions made it so easy for me to identify people I had things in common with, and strike up conversations on those topics.
Propelle is primarily focused on women entrepreneurs, but they welcome you just as graciously if you aren’t in charge of your own business. I think it’s fair to say that Propelle wants to see women succeed in all walks of business, and be independent and strong. They are really stepping up their game this year with a lot more interactive workshops and events. I can’t wait to see what they have in store!