Laura Schwartz – The Savvy Networker

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Laura Schwartz was seen by colleagues, friends, and family that turned out to toast the ultimate social networker,, on her Smart Meetings magazine February cover and feature story. (Laura was the keynote speaker at The Smart Meeting in Palm Springs in February). Nomi restaurant’s private lounge at the Park Hyatt was the setting for the celebration.

Known for her charisma and energetic vibe, Laura made everyone feel welcome. As guests mingled they enjoyed several varieties of wine, a fabulous hors-d’ oeuvres spread and desserts. Midway through the evening, Laura spoke about the power of turning social networking into opportunity.

“Eat, drink and get ready to turn ideas into reality and partnerships,” Schwartz says. “We have opportunities where we least expect them. Look at social events and dinners in the evening—some of these things seem optional. Guests may think they need to follow up on emails and make phone calls. But when you don’t look at those things as optional, you can get more out of every event. Planners empower guests to eat, drink and succeed by creating these opportunities.”

Laura is no newcomer to creating opportunities through networking. In 1993, at the age of 19, she arrived at the White House with no political experience and started out as volunteer answering phones. She soon climbed her way up the ranks to become the White House Director of Events during the Clinton Administration. Laura describes former President Clinton as a master networker and multi-tasker. She watched, listened and learned. She is the author of the best-selling book, Eat Drink and Succeed, a much sought after professional speaker hopping the globe where opportunity takes her, a television commentator and hosted numerous events as the master of ceremonies. To put it in Laura’s words, “We do not host events. We host guests.” Laura is a force who will continue to impact those around her in a positive way.

Photo Credit: Dennis Schwartz

About Margaret O'Connor

Margaret J. O’Connor is the founder/owner of MarCon Communications, a public relations and special events firm which handles the publicity and event needs for a diverse range of clients. She’s involved with numerous charities in Chicago and is active in its lifestyle and social scene. She grew up and was educated in Africa, Australia and America and holds degrees in marketing and finance from the University of Illinois. She is a contributing writer to many print and digital publications and her focus is lifestyle, culinary and nonprofit events. Read more from this author.