On Being Invited

Or dis-invited…

This came to mind when I received a recent invitation to an event, so I’m keeping the positive outlook on it – it feels good to be invited.

I don’t care if you can or can’t make the event, meeting, or party, it’s nice to be included and for someone else to have reached out.

The other side is perhaps a let-down. Can you imagine the long term effect of getting an invitation, responding positively, and then being told that sorry, that invitation wasn’t meant for you – could you please stay away?

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Relationships first

It is essential to build and maintain great relationships within your industry – you never know how things will turn out.

And so after spending twenty years within the technology circle of Western New York, I have a reasonable familiarity with many organizations and individuals. My role for most of that time has been to directly manage systems, build and organize teams, lead technology infrastructure support, consult, and even sell into businesses.

For the last five years, my role has been as an independent turnaround IT consultant – helping organizations build and rebuild when things have gone astray. And while I enjoy the lack of company politics, I do miss the benefits of spending time with co-workers.

And so I appreciate the opportunity to get together.

It’s your party

The primary rule – I will not come to your party and do anything to make you regret that you invited me, I am a guest.

I can think of few other things that would earn your ill will than to offend you at your event. My goal is to touch base with you, meet your close associates and the others you have invited, learn from whatever formal aspect is happening, and enjoy your hospitality.

And pressing my own business cards into the hands of your other guests to make a sale is not one of those things.

(Now clearly – when introducing myself to others, I will be giving out my contact information. But I ought to be able to do that in such a way that I am not “working the room” at your party;-)

The dis-invite

As happy as I am at being invited to an event recently, I still recall the dis-invite…

I had received an invitation to an event held by a different organization a couple years back – addressed to me. And just like this current event, I felt good about it, and checking schedule and content, thought I could and should attend. So I RSVP-ed.

And then received an email that the invitation wasn’t meant for me, it was meant for their customers, and some time later the organization would create some other event for people like me.

That wasn’t so pleasant, and it hurt the relationship by letting me know what the organization thought of me…

I’m probably not all that different

From the people you know.

They’ll enjoy being invited.

And if by some chance you happen to mistakenly invite someone to your party – for goodness sake, don’t compound the error by dis-inviting them. Use the opportunity to talk with them as a way of enhancing your relationship and building for the future.

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