When it comes to networking, we can learn a thing or two from our canine companions. When dogs meet each other, they have none of that awkward shyness that their human counterparts so often exhibit. Doggy greetings are immediate and very candid. And, by means of a weird kind of leash-enabled osmosis, dog owners, who would quite possibly not have a word to say to each other in other circumstances, inherit some of the same traits. Secure in the company of a pet, a person can quickly find herself deep in conversation with a complete stranger – as long as that stranger is also attached to a dog. Admittedly, the opening conversational gambits are doggedly pooch-related, but more general talk – and possibly actual friendship – can quickly follow.
But such meetings don’t have to be left to chance encounters on the street: enter the Yappy Hour – an occasion for fun, food, and drink for hounds and their humans. Often, these are organized by a dog-friendly hotel, restaurant, or bar, providing food and beverages that are suitable for all, including menus featuring catering for canines. Humans indulge in their favorite beverages, alcoholic or otherwise, while four-legged guests can be offered delicious beef- liver- or bacon-flavored water, or even an au-jus “dog wine.” (Yum!) Parks provide a good alternative venue for a Yappy Hour get-together. Assuming local ordinances allow, dogs can run around unleashed, burning off energy and generally having a great time, while their owners get to know each other.
Apart from the obvious common interest in dogs, Yappy Hour is a perfect opportunity to learn more about your fellow attendees. You can simply be social, of course, but you can also make professional contacts that may prove useful in the future.
Yappy Hours can also be themed for special occasions, such as Howloween or the Howlidays. Howloween get-togethers obviously provide the opportunity for both dogs and their two-legged companions to get suitably dressed up. Some localities hold a Howloween parade, often with prizes for the best costumes. Yappy Hour can also be used to further a doggy charity by raising money, either from a participation fee or from donations (or both). So people and dogs can have fun, while supporting a worthy cause.
If you scour your local event listings and can’t find a suitable canine gathering, that just means that you have the perfect opportunity to put one together yourself. Arrange for a suitable location (a local park is perfect) and then get the word our through posters, emails, your Facebook page, and ads in the local newspaper (print or online). Make it a regular event, and more people will find out about it over time and join in. As the originator and organizer, you will find yourself at the center of this newly created network. Gather names and contact information so you can keep in touch. If you collect email addresses, you can either send out an email reminder of the next meeting, or use an online service like Evite. The dog (or dogs) in your life will love it, and you will find lots of new friends and, quite possibly, professional connections.
Have a Pawsitively Tail Waggin' Good Day!
P.S. Ruff Haus Design is a results focused brand consulting company located in San Diego, CA. Let us help unleash your brand image, connect with your customers and gain their loyalty.