On August 22, the Alphabet Bash will turn the Aria into a temporary Mecca for the movers, shakers and wanna-bes of the Twin Cities message machines. The evening, while formatted as a loosely scripted mix and mingle, takes a tremendous amount of organization and planning, particularly coordinating the efforts of the dozens of associations and sponsors now involved. The “Bash” always promises and delivers great food, a fun atmosphere and, most assuredly, the best networking on the professional marketing communication community calendar.

I’m not just touting the event because the UST Opus College of Business is one of the two primary sponsors. We are engaged because this event brings together local business communication professionals from multiple disciplines on one night. It’s imperative that we are there, and should be for anyone interested in building a network of like-minded professionals – for fun and profit!

For those who don’t feel like they know many people, and worry about meeting new folks, here are a couple of tips. First, find someone you do know who has been in the market a while and ask them to go with you;  you won’t have to be alone and, with a wing-person, you’ll meet people they know.  When you meet those folks, break away from your “buddy” to follow the new acquaintances to the buffet or bar – you might meet some of their friends. Most importantly, if you don’t know anyone, talk to people who look like they are in the same boat. Next year, you will at least know each other.

Plus, the great thing about Alphabet Bash is that everyone has some connection to communication work and at least one of the organizations behind the event. So you have a conversation starter with everyone:  “So, in which organization are you a member?”  Not a member of any of these organizations? No worries, you are welcome at this event, and now you have a mission – to interview strangers about why they belong to the organizations in an effort to find which one(s) fits your needs.

Hmmmm, got any excuses left?