Miss Network’s secrets

The opposite of networking is not working

That’s the slogan and vision of Rikke Thygesen, who developed here company in networking in exactly that way. I was lucky to meet her at one of her network events at El Porron and have the opportunity to ask this inspiring personality a few questions on the secrets of networking. And on her story.

How it started //

“ There was a time in my life that I had a lot to deal with. I was a single mum with a career. Busy and running all the time. Like many others. Why not help each other out?, I thought. So I started organizing small events in nice places, inviting people I knew to share ideas, socialize and deal with daily life- and work challenges in a smart way. This was before the internet era, and even before I knew myself what networking was. It was a big success. People were interested and in that time I learned: If you ask for help, people will give it to you. “

How it evolved //

“ In those days I was working for a recruitment company. I met a lot of business people, who wanted to connect with other people in their profession, but didn’t know how to do that. I noticed a lack of networking skills and started sharing my own experiences, organizing network events for HR, IT, marketing and financial professionals. In 2008 in founded my own company and since then, I facilitate workshops and give lectures on networking. If a company hires me for an event, I make sure all the right people are there and will facilitate the networking process ‘real-time’. For every event I organize, I promise effectiveness and tangible results.”

Network activities //

“ Every first Friday I organize a business lounge at the First27 Hotel in Copenhagen. It’s open for everyone and there’s no fee. People only pay for their drinks. Before the event, I ask the participants some questions through a script. If you want to get something out of a business lounge, you have to prepare. Drinking a glass of wine is nice, but it is not the goal. You need to know what you need and ask for help. During the event, I match people and facilitate, making sure people meet the right people. “

“ The Danes are quite closed. We do our job until 16 pm, go home and that’s it. One of the things I teach, is how to make small talk and how to find out how you can really connect with people. You need some icebreakers first, before you can step into the business talk. A lot of people don’t know how to start the conversation or feel uncomfortable in the beginning.”

Network secrets //

“ Preparation is the first lessons. Listening and finding the drive of someone who you want to connect with, is the second one. And you need to understand that asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. Last but not least, you need to follow up. I can help you to make the connection, but if you don’t follow up, you will miss out on the results. The steps are simple: Prepare // Action // Follow-up.”

Personal drives //

“ Of course I like to connect and give. I am not afraid to share my network. It gives me a lot of energy and the results give me a boost. A lot of people like to meet me, but I always say: It’s not interesting to know me. It’s interesting to know who I know. Being Miss Network Denmark, I am expanding my activities from Copenhagen to other cities. It’s my ambition to create the biggest network event in Denmark. 5000 people in one big space, networking. Imagine what comes out of that!”