Networking – if you have a business or event that needs promoting – is an important skill to have. Opportunities to make connections and get the word out on your project may not always be obvious, however, particularly in the smaller communities surrounding Mille Lacs Lake.
Local business owner Tracy Gallati is no stranger to the challenges of networking; it’s a skill she’s been cultivating her whole life. Recently elected president of the Isle Area Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 5, Gallati has a new project, Mille Lacs Connections, aiming to bring networking opportunities throughout the community.
Mille Lacs Connection meetings are being held weekly on Wednesdays at 7:30 a.m., the location changing from week to week. The meeting is open to anyone with an event to promote. This could include superintendents, bankers, real estate agents or any other professionals. Comparing Mille Lacs Connections with other networking groups, Gallati noted that weekly attendance is not mandatory and membership was not exclusive to one person per industry. “And that’s important,” she added. “It’s not exclusive.”
All attendants needed to bring each meeting is a dollar and their business card. Each person is given one or two minutes to introduce themselves and whatever business and project they are promoting. Participants are also encouraged to bring fliers and cards, Gallati said, anything to help spread the word on their work. The dollar fee would be put toward meeting supplies, including paper and name tags.
As the location changes from week to week, each meeting’s host was also given opportunity to provide a 20 minute presentation about the projects and events they are currently undertaking.
The Mille Lacs Connections meetings are open to anyone in the Mille Lacs area as well as anyone outside the area, so long as they are doing business to promote the Mille Lacs community.
Mille Lacs Connections currently has a Facebook page (tinyurl.com/y32fmeva) listing the currently scheduled meeting locations. These meeting locations can also be found on the events calender at the Isle Chamber of Commerce website (tinyurl.com/y4tra9g2). The March 20 meeting will be at Massage on Mille Lacs.
In addition to these Mille Lacs Connections meetings, Gallati is looking for volunteers to help put together a local event planning committee. Originating from discussion at Mille Lacs Connections, ideas for this group include an Easter Egg Hunt across participating area businesses and a bus service for daytime shopping trips. Those interested in participating can reach out to Gallati at email@example.com.
Through her role both with the chamber and hosting these meetings, Gallati hopes to encourage local cooperation. “The more people participate,” she explained, “the more the chamber participates for them.” She aims to bring the community together, and in the process, bring revenue and business into the community.