01 Aug 2013
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ICT Networking: Kiwi Style - A Few Quiet Yarns

By Alistair Ross

If you are an ICT professional then you'll know how important that networking is to build relationships in the industry. The ICT the industry may be small and perhaps even a little incestuous in New Zealand but don't let that fool you into believing that you'll instantly get to know the people that matter and form great working relationships.

Ryan Ashton devised 'A Few Quiet Yarns' to be a relaxed environment for ICT folks to get together, have a drink and network.

That's where Ryan Ashton brought his concept of 'A Few Quiet Yarns' to life. His pay it forward approach to networking helps promote a relaxed atmosphere to business networking. It's very Kiwi, and it's great. I've been to lots of stuffy business networking meetings before where the idea is to mingle, but it's left up to the individuals to form their own agenda and they often end up as "Hi & Buy" events which put me off.

A Few Quiet Yarns is different. Ryan acts as the mediator for the event and has one of the most impressive abilities to remember people's names I've ever seen. AFQY meets most months in Auckland and the last count had 143 attendees. Every time without fail, Ryan gives every attendee a personal shout-out so that everyone knows who everyone else is. Ryan sums up the concept of his relaxed, non-sales focused meet up at his blog, stating:

"You know who is who in the room and if you'd like to talk to anyone you are welcome to bowl up and introduce yourself and connect/get to know them and if they don't like it, they shouldn't be here".

It's true, it really does cut the 'stuffy' air. There's basically one main rule: No selling. After all, if you're a personable sort and make the effort to get to know people at these events, you'll likely find that if you are in sales, you'll build friendships that can turn into sales anyway.

In addition to the regular meetups, A Few Quiet Yarns has a lively Linked In group. This month, the meet up is on 15th August at Bungalow 8 on Auckland's Viaduct. Attendance is free, however, it is recommended that you register (free) via Eventbrite.

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