I was recently discussing the topic of conversation salons with a friend, and I jokingly referred to them as “networking for people who hate networking.” I’ll admit, I’ve found myself squarely in the middle of that category before, and I’d wager to guess many of you have, too.

Networking has gotten a bad rap. For many, it conjures up superficial small talk over drinks with other professionals for just long enough so you “made an appearance.” Some have a natural passion for it and sincerely enjoy interacting with as many people as possible. No matter which camp you fall into, in today’s business world, networking is a necessity.

Salon gatherings have been hosted throughout Europe since the 16th century, with the goal of sharing refined conversations about poetry, literature, and philosophy. While these meet-ups are growing in popularity today, the subject matter is less Voltaire and more practical, everyday application.

Most of you reading this post today are a part of The Source because you know the importance of connection: it promotes discussion, cultivates creativity, and inspires great ideas. We spend nearly half our day in front of various screens, only interacting with people via email, text, or direct message. And while this is the way of the world, we may not realize it, but we are starved of meaningful interaction.

In an effort to inspire such discussions, The Source is integrating Conversation Salons into our next After Hours with The Source! We want to draw on the wisdom and experience of our diverse membership to create an environment where we are listening to and learning from one another. Here’s how it works:

STEP 1: Grab a Drink and Find Your Table.

Each of us in attendance is assigned a table for each round of discussion.

STEP 2: Read the Question.

The host of the event will share the guidelines for the event and help you begin the conversation.

STEP 3: Talk with Your Group.

Engage in open and honest conversation with the women at your table.

STEP 4: Listen & Learn.

Each table will share a highlight from the discussion that will hopefully be helpful to the rest of the room.

The Source is so excited to bring the conversation salon concept to After Hours with The Source. We want to create opportunities for genuine connections and foster inspiration and wisdom in professional women all over our state. If you want to join the conversation, mark your calendar for April 23 and be on the lookout for our invitation!