We’ve all been networking before, a necessary component of any career. But have you ever been sweatworking?
The trendy alternative to a cocktail hour or traditional business meet up, sweatworking has developed as a new way to connect with industry leaders and colleagues. Involving physical activity of some sort, often pilates, yoga, or a boot camp style workout, sweatworking allows participants to workout together with a business focus. Essentially combining physical activity with a business meeting, sweatworking can result in improved performance and increased brainpower. After all, many a deal has closed on the golf course, so the concept itself isn’t all that original. No matter the presentation, sweatworking is simply a really good time.
I can attest to this, as I recently sweatworked at AFCOM’s Data Center World in Los Angeles. The conference organizers held sweatworking events for the first time and brought in a company, Yogis On The Move, which provided yoga mats, equipment, and instruction for all levels. Jessica, our yoga teacher, started class with a warning that she was told to “make us sweat” for this was sweatworking after all. The 12 or so brave conference attendees in the room (primarily women, with a few good men among us) gave her a quiet laugh and the 6:30 AM class began. Incorporating a variety of partner yoga moves and a conversational style, Jessica encouraged regular engagement and introductions between the participating yogis throughout the class.
Our cores burned, our limbs stretched, and our portfolios of connections grew over 45 minutes before the session concluded with complimentary refreshments, fruit, water, and the zen energy that only a yoga class can produce. Most participants, haven woken to the day, enthusiastically welcomed the prospect of two more sweatworking sessions scheduled before the conclusion of the conference.
“Endorphins are the new social lubricant,” writes editor Alizah Salario for Metro in her piece, “Sweatworking is next level networking.” Multiple articles about this business trend can be found on the web, including “Why Sweatworking Is The New Networking (Here’s How To Kill It)” on Chalkboard Magazine and “What Is “Sweatworking” and Why You Should Be Doing It? Plus My True Confession…” published to LinkedIn. Because public relations produces forward facing messages about a company, PR professionals or marketing personnel are networking all the time – with press, with new business prospects, with co-marketers, and more. Our work touches many divisions across companies so opportunities to network and grow our groups of professional contacts are highly valued. Sweatworking provides a new way for business people – PR or otherwise – to make a new connection and feel the burn while doing it.
Caroline Haley authors the column “Caroline’s Cloud” and is Vice President, Outreach & Operations for Milldam Public Relations.