Picture of Simone Douglas

Simone Douglas

Ever find yourselves at networking events where the room feels like a time-travel tour of the decades? Trust me, you’re not alone. But whether you’re shaking hands with a Baby Boomer or swapping social media handles with a Gen Z, the rules are the same: It’s not about you. Yeah, you heard me right. Networking is about meeting people where they are, not where you wish they would be. In this series of Blogs we are going to explore some of the idiosyncrasies of each generation.

And just to clear the air: if someone is overtly sexist or racist, it’s best to steer clear. I once walked away from a hefty contract because I didn’t want to compromise my values. The ‘dinosaurs’ will eventually become extinct; you don’t need them to grow your network or your business.

A Look at the Generations

So let’s break it down. At most business networking events in Adelaide, you’ll bump into Baby Boomers, Gen Xers (that’s me!), Millennials, and Gen Zers. And guess what? They all speak a different language when it comes to business. In this first part of our four part series we will take a deep dive into the Boomer Generation.

Boom, Shake The Room—Boomers in the House!

For many Boomers in Adelaide’s networking circles, life’s pretty set. They’ve got their success stories and they aren’t shy about it. So when you’re at networking events in Adelaide, chatting up a Boomer, come prepared. Have your own stories, your credentials, and a dash of humility. Why? Because unless you’re in their inner circle, their attention span for you is shorter than a TikTok video.

Example Time: OK, Boomer
Let’s get practical. I’ve got a mate named Michael. Runs an alarm company. He’s as straightforward as they come. We first crossed paths at an Adelaide networking event, and guess what sealed the deal? A genuine, interesting conversation. He took me under his wing and introduced me to some pretty influential people.

Getting Comfortable with the Networking Chameleon
To thrive at networking events in Adelaide, you have to be versatile. Michael, for example, has no filter. His humor is tongue-in-cheek and he calls it like he sees it. To vibe with him, I had to match that energy. So when you’re engaging with different generations, pay attention to their tone, their humor, their language. Adapt, but don’t lose your authenticity.

Case in Point: Mark Colquhoun
Mark is another Adelaide business heavyweight I met during a networking event. This man knows how to cultivate relationships the old-fashioned way—something that many Boomers are exceptionally good at. We’re talking handwritten thank-you letters over bland, emotionless emails.

Putting It Into Practice: Earn Your Stripes
Remember Mark, the relationship guru? After hearing him talk at a business networking event in Adelaide, I didn’t shoot him an email. Nope. I picked up the phone and called him. We had lunch. And from that point, I earned my stripes, one networking event at a time. Boomers, after all, have a high regard for respect. They’ve earned it, and they expect the same in return.

So the next time you find yourself navigating through the age-diverse crowd at networking events in Adelaide, remember this: It’s a generation game, but the prize is always the same—a meaningful, productive network. And it all begins with understanding, respect, and a knack for meeting people where they are.

 

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