Just this week our firm hosted our bi-monthly Executive Women's Breakfast. More than 100 women business owners, many of them clients of our firm, gathered for good networking and an interesting speaker. At the conclusion, one of our managers here asked why we continue to host these events during "tax season" - since everyone is so busy! I thought about it for a while and wondered how many firms face this dilemma. The manager thought we should cancel the January and March events and resume again in May. I did not want to lose the momentum we build by gathering a substantial group every other month. The twopoints I made in my response to her were:
1 Our clients and other business colleagues do not have 'tax season' and do not expect the world to stop because of it;
2. If other firms retreat from the business community because they are too busy - well, that gives us all the more opportunity to fill in the gaps!
So for those of you who say you cannot make time during tax season for an occasional networking event, consider the full message you may be sending out to the community. The compression of work and the related stress is real, but you cannot really afford to let all your networking come to a screeching halt. Instead of being MIA, maybe you can prioritize some of the local events and select those that are most valuable for you. Attend the ones you feel are significant - and in doing so, keep your firm's "presence" consistent in the business community.
Let me know how your firm deals with this dilemma!