Our CEO, Sondra Shannon, took center stage earlier this month at the “Elevate Your Network” event, offering valuable insights into the transformative power of networking for women in the event planning space. She shared her expertise on how networking can impact personal and professional growth.

The event focused on networking as a catalyst for success, with Sondra’s keynote emphasizing the intrinsic link between networking and net worth.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Your Network is a Beautiful Garden: View your network as a garden that requires cultivation and fostering for sustained growth and success.
  2. Connection is Vital: Recognize that as social creatures, humans thrive on connections, and fostering relationships is integral to personal and professional development.
  3. Develop Emotional Intelligence and Communication Skills: Focus on developing emotional intelligence, communication skills, and the ability to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  4. Genuine Interest in Others: Establish the foundation of strong relationships by being genuinely interested in others. Ask questions, actively listen, and display curiosity about their lives and experiences.
  5. Give, Don’t Just Take: Be a giver in your relationships, offering help and support without expecting immediate returns. Genuine and generous interactions build the strongest connections.
  6. Authenticity Matters: Be authentic, open, and transparent. Authenticity is key, as people can discern sincerity, and genuine interactions form the basis of lasting connections.
  7. Follow Up and Nurture: Networking is an ongoing process. Regularly follow up and nurture your connections, understanding that relationships require consistent effort and care.
  8. Utilize Online Platforms: Leverage online platforms, including social media and professional networks, to connect with individuals virtually and expand your network.
  9. Seek Valuable Advice and Mentorship: Tap into your network for invaluable advice and mentorship from experienced professionals.
  10. Inspiration and Collaboration: Connect with like-minded individuals to find inspiration and foster collaborations that can lead to creative and impactful endeavors.
  11. Build a Support System: Your network serves as a strong personal support system, offering encouragement and assistance to navigate life’s challenges.
  12. Active Networking for Women: Women should actively participate in building networks to collectively thrive and support each other in personal and professional pursuits.
  13. Network as a Lifelong Investment: Understand that your network is an investment that will yield dividends throughout your life. The relationships you build can open doors to countless opportunities.
  14. Invest Time, Effort, and Genuine Care: Acknowledge that investing time, effort, and genuine care into building connections is the key to unlocking personal and professional growth.
  15. Courage in Visibility: Embrace the courage to show up and be seen, echoing the wisdom of Brene Brown, as transparency and authenticity lay the foundation for meaningful connections.

Network with the Gatemaster Team

sondra shannon speaking at an eventAt Gatamaster, we value all of our relationships and are committed to constantly growing our network. Recently, we had our first annual networking event to kick off our 30th anniversary at the 2023 IAAPA Expo. Our event was held at our client, Congo River Golf’s iconic I-Drive location in Orlando Florida.

At our exclusive event, everyone was able to:

  • Connect with other industry professionals
  • Celebrate with delicious food and drinks; hold and feed alligators; and of course, play unlimited mini golf!
  • Collaborate with our valued partners, Alvarado and Paystri.

If you missed it this year, don’t worry! We invite you to connect with our team at our next event at Congo River Golf. Explore opportunities to expand your network and engage with industry experts. Look out for more information, coming soon!


See you next year at Congo River Golf! Stay tuned for updates!