Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | This time last week I was in full-on event planning mode, working with a number of amazing in-house service delivery teams that helped make last Wednesday a huge event success for our Manchester School of Art students, academic stakeholders and all of the fabulous creatives that took time out of what I know are jam packed diaries.

The events theme was a ‘Media Employer Networking’ where with the support of the Manchester School of Art Media Department, I was able to showcase 20 employers, creatives, freelancers to our Media under-graduates. Getting student/employer engagement ‘buy-in’ to a piloted event is always hard. Planning these types of events can take approximately 3 months to plan, and only on the day of the event can you be sure of it’s success…will students attend? Will all of your guests be available (there are always last minute cancellations)?

For all of the events I have organised, LinkedIn has been my ‘go-to’ to help me tap into my personal connections, and to research professionals, sectors and businesses to help me plan and organise my events. Last week’s event was no different, and my connections were able to assist in a number of ways…attend the event as a guest; help promote the event to their members via communication channels, providing me with contact recommendations.

A LinkedIn story that I want to share involves one of my LinkedIn connections. Lisa McReynolds. As I have previously mentioned in past blogs, I use LinkedIn daily, and last Tuesday, when I was reading my connection updates, I came across Lisa McReynolds profile update. What I love about so many of my connections is the professional history that is, linked to them. Lisa studied at MMU Business School (BA Advertising & Brand Management), and I worked with Lisa, providing placement/internship, mentoring support during her studies. Lisa interned with Carat Manchester, 2010/2011, and began her graduate career with Carat Manchester, 2012, as a Digital Media Assistant. Now, Lisa is a Digital Media Manager with Carat Manchester.

By being, connected to Lisa, I was able to pick up the phone, and introduce the Media event to her. Our working relationship, made the conversation personal, friendly, and an opportunity to discuss the possibility of Lisa attending the event. 24 hours before the event, I was not confident that Lisa would say yes, but she did!! Now, that is, what I call a result. Unfortunately, a change of business meeting location required Lisa to cancel, but…this has opened a door for Lisa and me to work together in the future.

LinkedIn connections that have been so valuable to the organising of our event and new connections include:

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/lisa-mcreynolds-30835821 – Digital Media Manchester | Carat Manchester
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/gavin-parry-7263235 – Senior Lecturer (Photography) | Manchester School of Art
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tombright1 – Architectural Photographer
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/hollie-myles-60a56043 – Photography Editor | Intern Magazine
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tommycroft – Divisional Head | Reading Room
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/darrencousins – Creative Director | Reading Room
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/katiegallagher2 – Managing Director | Manchester Digital
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jaymenipatel – Architect | DMWR Architects / Cumin Design Academy
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/reeyapatel6 – Marketing & Communications Professional

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