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Hello, My Name Is…

The Chamber’s “Hello Cincy” program hosts a series of free happy hours to help business leaders get back into the networking habit.

by John Fox

After two years of working from home and masking and social-distancing in public, people can be forgiven if they’ve forgotten how to network. Establishing connections and building your personal brand never stopped being important in the business world, just logistically hard to pull off. “Hello Cincy” is hosting a series of happy hours this year geared to helping newcomers to town, remote workers, small business owners, and others network in a relaxed environment.

The free events run 5:30–7:30 p.m. once a month at downtown’s Kinley Hotel, starting May 24 and concluding on October 11. “They’ve been attracting between 50 and 100 people each, a size that’s just right,” says Kabrella Clark, talent connections manager at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. “Attendees can have deeper conversations with fewer people and not feel rushed to meet every single person.”

The events have attracted lots of first-timers and a number of repeat attendees, says Clark, and everyone from recent college graduates to executives. The June 21 happy hour included (pictured above, from left) Marie Brown, Trevor (T.J.) Phillips, and Monty Taylor.

Besides the happy hours, the Chamber’s “Hello Cincy” networking efforts include the Cincy Chat speaker series, the HYPE program (Harnessing Young Professional Energy), and Cincinnati Intern Network Connection. “Workers are anxious to get out and meet people, and that isn’t changing any time soon,” Clark says.