A New Twist to Networking | Omega

Business deals and networking are now happening on dance floors and in meditation rooms.

Move over stuffy hotel conference rooms and name tags. If you want to make connections for your business, it’s time to dance—at 7:00 a.m.

A new wave of networking is taking hold, and it has nothing to do with stale bagels or power suits.

One of these events is called Daybreaker, which is self-described as “a morning movement that will start your day off unlike anything else.”

The event was created by two entrepreneurs, General Assembly cofounder Matthew Brimer and Super Sprowtz founder and CEO Radha Agrawal. It’s tailored to young professionals who want to dance and be seen before the workday begins.

“What's exciting about Daybreaker is that it fosters this community where entrepreneurs can be creative,” Brimer told Business Insider. “So there’s the physical aspect, but also the social energy, open-minded, and artistic side to it.”

Daybreaker and other early morning dance events like it also offer healthy drinks and snacks, like smoothies or chia pudding made by local chefs, along with holistic treatments like massage and therapeutic yoga.

If dancing (or getting up early) is not your thing, you can also try meditation. While it sounds like a solitary activity, many people are meeting and making job connections once they get off their cushion.

Tech entrepreneur Ben Bechar was attending about four networking events a week and not making many new connections. He accepted a request to an invitation-only meditation class in New York City, and said he met not only a potential investor but also new beta testers for his app.

“I’ve had more success at meditation than I’ve had at any networking event I’ve attended,” Bechar told the New York Times.

Connecting Business & Social

What does the research say about dance and meditation's effectiveness as networking and business tools? It turns out that many of the things these activities enhance—creativity, patience, neural integration, etc.—help you lead a more successful life all the way around, including at work.

Dance has been proven to have a great impact on your work life. Research from Stanford University found that dancing integrates multiple brain functions at the same time, including kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional, helping boost your neural connections.

Mindfulness practices are getting more recognition as a tool to boost productivity and help aid the creative process, too.

In-person events like dance or meditation classes are also great complements to the world of online connections. Social media is now considered the business handshake, serving as a vehicle for making new referrals or introductions. People can join groups or introduce friends from near and far. But there is still nothing that truly substitutes for meeting people face to face.

© 2015 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

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