Book cover "Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences"

“Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences” (Movement Publishing, 2017)

A practical guide to help you build meaningful and authentic relationships.

When you register for a conference, it’s a big investment.

The cost might be covered by your company, but you will still need to be out of the office for a few days. Are you planning ahead so you’ll use the time away strategically? Do you feel confident about making the most of the opportunities at the event?

Rather than collect an overflowing stack of business cards on your desk, learn how to follow up effectively. Collecting business cards is not building relationships.

Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, networking novice or master schmoozer, this book is for you.

You’re probably wondering about the title–what does “croissants” and “bagels” have to do with networking? Picture those tight networking circles at events–those are the “bagels.” If someone opens up their body language and makes space for others to join the circle–viola! “Croissant.” Set the intention to meet people and your body language will reflect your intention.

If you feel anxious about networking, this book shares practical steps to help you feel empowered.

This book focuses on being inclusive. Clear examples of how to approach and engage people who are different from you are provided, so they’ll want to keep the conversation going.

Recognized networking expert and speaker Robbie Samuels shares these and many other tips and strategies to help you level-up your networking prowess. Whether your goal is to get the most ROI from participation in conferences or elevate your ability to network authentically, you will walk away with techniques enabling you to be more strategic, more effective, and more inclusive.

OTS 055: Introducing… “Croissants vs Bagels” by Robbie Samuels

055 graphic Introducing Croissants vs Bagels

Welcome back to On the Schmooze! This week, I’m reading the Introduction to my new book “Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences.” Download the Kindle book today – it’s free for a few more hours and then 99 cents the rest of this week (regularly $9.99).

The night before my book launch this past weekend, I was up late refreshing my Amazon page over and over again. I had set an audacious goal of 100 reviews before my public launch and was incredibly close to achieving it. The number of reviews remained at 94 now matter how many times I refreshed. Then I remembered that some of my team were posting on Amazon sites in their home countries. I found a list of these sites on Wikipedia and checked my book page on each one of them. I found 7 more reviews! 

“Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences” launched two days ago and there was a tremendous response with 1240 downloads in one day! Over 2,000 downloads since it soft launched a few days ago.

The number of reviews on Amazon.com is currently 125 and new reviews are posted regularly. 

My book even cracked the Top 100 Free list for a bit – was at #95 Monday morning! Huge thank you to the nearly 350 people on my launch team.

Get your free Kindle book at www.robbiesamuels.com/bookstore. The free promotion ends at 3pm ET today and will be 99 cents the rest of this week. The paperback will be available in a few weeks (once the audiobook is done since the paperback includes a free audiobook).

Subscribe and leave an honest rating and review on iTunes. Thanks!

OTS 049: Do you know your neighbors? – David Crowley

049 graphic Do you know your neighbors - David Crowley

Today’s guest hopes your community ties are strong as they are a great indicator of your health and success. He deeply believes in the power of building social capital. For the last 15 years, he has been strengthening communities by connecting diverse individuals and organizations through civic engagement initiatives. He does this through Social Capital Inc., an organization he founded in 2002.

His resume is filled with over 25 years of leadership experience. He was Executive Director of Generations Incorporated, which under his leadership grew into a national model for intergenerational programming. He also started and directed the Kentucky Community Service Commission, a state entity appointed by the Governor responsible for AmeriCorps and other service programs.

As Founder and President of Social Capital Inc., he has helped them grow into a national leader – exploring how communities can systematically, intentionally, weave stronger social fabrics connecting its members. Pilot programs in three Massachusetts cities proved so successful that they are now replicating their proven model and civic networking tools in communities across the state.

Please join me in welcoming David Crowley.

Would you leave an honest rating and review on iTunes? Or Stitcher? They are extremely helpful and I read each and every one of them. Thanks for the inspiration!

OTS 046: How to Shift Your Body Language to be Better at Networking – Robbie Samuels

046 graphic How to Shift Your Body Language to be Better at Networking

Welcome back to On the Schmooze. Thank you so much for joining me. Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Scott Stratten, this week you’ll be hearing from me, your host.

Every other week I’ll be offering my take on some aspect of networking and relationship-building. These shorter podcast episodes will include practical networking tips and techniques you can put into practice right away. My hope is those insights from me, and my guests will help you achieve the leadership position you’re seeking, build and sustain your professional network, and find the work/life balance that works best for you.

Today’s podcast features excerpts from my soon to be released book, “Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences.” The unusual title will make a lot more sense by the end of this episode.

Subscribe and leave an honest rating and review on iTunes. Thanks!

OTS 044: Communicating Across Disability – Robbie Samuels

Communicating Across Disability - with host Robbie Samuels

Welcome back to On the Schmooze. Thank you so much for joining me. Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Mary Pilon, this week you’ll be hearing from me, your host.

Every other week I’ll be offering my take on some aspect of networking and relationship-building. These shorter podcast episodes will include practical networking tips and techniques you can put into practice right away. My hope is those insights from me, and my guests will help you achieve the leadership position you’re seeking, build and sustain your professional network, and find the work/life balance that works best for you.

This week, I’ll be sharing tips to help you more effectively and inclusively network with people with disabilities. This is an excerpt from my soon to be released book “Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences.”

Subscribe and leave an honest rating and review on iTunes. Thanks!

OTS 041: Dads Don’t Babysit – Matt Schneider

Dads Don't Babysit - Matt Schneider

Today’s guest is first and foremost a dad. What began as a small playgroup in 2008 became the NYC Dads Group and in 2013 expanded into the City Dads Group network with 26 groups across the country. This diverse community supports dads of all stripes, providing opportunities to socialize as they navigate parenthood together.

In addition to co-founding these groups, he co-hosts The Modern Dads Podcast, a monthly show highlighting stories of 21st-century dads and families. He regularly contributes to and is quoted by media outlets interested in telling the stories of involved dads.

As an at-home dad myself, I was grateful to discover this network of involved fathers existed and have become actively involved with the Boston Dads Group. I had an opportunity to meet my guest in person at HomeDadCon, hosted by the National At-Home Dad Network.

Please join me in welcoming Matt Schneider.

Would you leave an honest rating and review on iTunes? Or Stitcher? They are extremely helpful and I read each and every one of them. Thanks for the inspiration!

OTS 032: Extrovert Privilege – Robbie Samuels

Extrovert Privilege

Welcome back to On the Schmooze. Thank you so much for joining me. Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Dorie Clark, this week you’ll be hearing from me, your host.

Every other week I’ll be offering my take on some aspect of networking and relationship-building. These shorter podcast episodes will include practical networking tips and techniques you can put into practice right away. My hope is that insights from me and my guests will help you achieve the leadership position you’re seeking, build and sustain your professional network, and find the work/life balance that works best for you.

This week, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the different ways outgoing extroverts like myself have something I’m calling extrovert privilege.

Subscribe and leave an honest rating and review on iTunes. Thanks!

Empowering Children to Make the World a Better Place

Grant at 2 monthsA magical thing happened on Dec. 15, 2015, at 9:11 p.m.. I became a father.

While I had been planning for that moment all throughout my wife’s pregnancy — immersing myself in researching baby gear for our registry and reading parenting books — I could not have been prepared for what it felt like when my son finally arrived.

That day I joined the brotherhood of fatherhood.

Growing up I didn’t think I would become a father. For starters, I’m transgender and was raised a girl. I also wasn’t at all interested in carrying a child, even at a young age. So I wasn’t sure how this parenting thing would happen for me.

Over a decade ago, I decided to move from living a very gender-blurred existence to being solidly perceived as a man. But that word– “man” — always felt a little off for me. I would say I was a “guy” without hesitation, but a man … well that had a different connotation for me.

As someone raised female who then came out as gay, I had some strong feelings about the way white, cisgender straight men behaved in our culture. I had no interest in exemplifying that.

Small Networking Moments at Conferences

Image of empty conference room filled with red chairs

It’s early in the morning and you’re on your way to a local conference – or it’s late at night and you’re flying to a conference across the country. Knowing you would be out of the office at least one day, you stayed late several days in the last week to get work done. In fact, you’re still thinking about a project at work and wondering how you’ll meet the deadline while being out of the office.

The last thing on your mind is networking.

Ideally you’d have thought through a strategic networking plan before going to the conference, but even without one you can take advantage of all the small networking moments throughout the day. One example is the opportunity to meet fellow attendees at breakout sessions.

Does this scene sound familiar? You don’t know many people at the conference and you don’t enjoy mingling during the breaks, so you go directly to the breakout session room 5-10 minutes before it begins. You choose a chair as far apart as possible from everyone else in the room, taking the aisle seat in the last row if it’s still available. Then quickly get on your phone to check work emails, scroll through Facebook, or play Bejeweled. As the room fills up a few people are sitting near you – perhaps even one seat over. The room is less than half filled and almost completely silent. You and almost everyone else is focused on their phones.

#1 Networking tip: Croissants vs. Bagels

left side of image shows people standing in a u-shape at a networking event, right side shows people standing in a closed circle

What I’m about to share is a tip from a very memorable section of my Art of the Schmooze training.  A year after attending my session, sometimes even two years later, I’ll run into a past attendee and they’ll excitedly point at their feet and say “Croissant! Croissant!”

What are they talking about?
Let’s say you’ve arrived at a networking event, you’ve circled the room looking for an opening for your first conversation, but you’re surrounded by those tight networking circles. I call those shoulder-to-shoulder huddles “bagels” and they are nearly impossible to break into. If you are like most people you’ll be looking for an easy opening and might be drawn to the person standing by themselves against the wall. Unless you’re a regular and can introduce that person to someone when your conversation ends, your best bet is to engage with folks in those bagels.

Now imagine you’re one of the people standing in a typical networking bagel. If you took a small step back with one foot and turned your torso slightly, you’d create an opening that would make it easier for someone to join your group. That is the croissant we’re looking for.

How do you  stand so you’re easy to approach?