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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Las Cruces Networking

By Peter Biadasz
Southern Plains Bureau Chief
(Missouri, Arkensas, Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico)

One of the most beautiful states in our nation is New Mexico. Within its borders is the city of Las Cruces, which in some circles translates “the crosses”. Just as a cross is the intersection of two objects, so networking is the crossing paths of two people. So how appropriate that we discover the great networking opportunities in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

I had the honor of talking with Jim Berry, President & CEO of the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce. He shared with me that their organization has two cornerstone networking events; Good Morning Las Cruces and Business After Hours. By having both morning and evening networking events available, everyone’s schedule is accommodated.

Good Morning Las Cruces is a quarterly event in which over 100 local businesses attend. Each event is organized in such a way that every attendee will get a chance to interact with everyone in the room. Upon entering the event each attendee is given a list of their table seating assignments for each round of networking. The morning begins promptly at 7 a.m. with the first round of the networking session. Good Morning Las Cruces is structured in a round-robin type scenario, with attendees seated in tables of ten. During a ten minute session, each member has one minute to tell others at the table about their business and hand out business cards, brochures and flyers to the other people seated at the table. At the end of the ten minutes, a bell is rung and members scatter to different tables and repeat the ten-minute session. Usually 7-9 rounds of networking are completed during the event. The function is very upbeat. In addition, Jim told me that the organizers work very hard to ensure there is a good representation of a variety of industries at every meeting. A continental breakfast is served at the conclusion of the networking sessions. Because Good Morning Las Cruces begins at exactly 7 a.m., if an individual is late, he/she has to wait until a round is over to join the group. Most people arrive about five to ten minutes before the event begins.

The Business After Hours occurs 7-8 times a year and is attended by about 200 people. The 2 hour gathering is a true free-style networking event that Jim likens to a “networking revival”. Come prepared to be energized by stimulating conversation and networking. Good food, great interaction.

Keeping it simple and offering networking opportunities that everyone can involve themselves in is the local winning networking formula. If you want to learn more about networking in Las Cruces, I encourage you to go to And if you ever find yourself traveling to Las Cruces, stop by and cross paths with a networker like yourself.

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