Everything in Moderation Keeps Life Fun & That Includes Networking

Stacy Hope Small
3 min readOct 27, 2022

At a monthly event for the Bay Area travel industry last night, I looked around and was struck by how happy, engaged, and energized everyone appeared. The outdoor patio at Hotel Zelos was buzzing. I, too, was truly thrilled to be exchanging hugs and catching up with hotel GMs and sales reps I’ve not seen in a few years (for obvious reasons!).

In all honesty, networking has never been my favorite social activity, but these days it feels necessary (in moderation). Many people at the event didn’t know I’d relocated to the Bay Area, having seen me only virtually on social media posting from Maui for the entire Pandemic. Having a NEW story to share is making this chapter much more fun. Networking in person is feeling necessary, as there is only so much that can be shared online.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT in San Francisco at IRL events.

Also apparent was a new level of gratitude for this opportunity, and an epic appreciation for having back what was taken from all of us the past few years. I personally made the effort to drive into the city because I WANTED to see old friends, make some new ones and reconnect with travel industry people and hoteliers at back-to-back events.

That’s much different than feeling obligated to attend networking events— as I often felt pre-pandemic. Truth be told, many people I talk to tell me they feel the same. A lot of us semi-enjoyed the “forced sabbatical” from selling travel, but we are all glad to be back doing what we love — changing lives via travel.

I found out that hoteliers I’d known from New York are now Bay Area-based. I heard about a few new babies, a few global moves, even a few divorces. Life, it seems, happens to all of us and the pandemic changed things — but it also opened up a new pathway for in-person connections to be “personal” and not just about business. I want to hear about your family, please, tell me how you spent your pandemic.

Oh, you quit drinking?! Hey, Me too!” (This came up a few times when I ordered a non-alcoholic mule from the bartender on DAY 712 of no booze). Of course, I also want to learn what’s new at your hotel but first, let’s talk about how we are. Reconnections are best made in that order.

Fact: No one HAD to attend this event, many chose to fly up from other cities to mingle & mix with those of us who sell travel based here. A day in the life of a travel industry person is pretty nuts these days. Yet, it was obvious we all saw the importance of putting our work aside for a few hours and spending time with each other.

As my 53rd (!) birthday approaches next week, I am committing to maintaining a balance between my work-at-home life focused 100% on my Elite Travel Club members and being present in person at events in the company of fantastic humans like I was last night. Getting to catch up with LVMH-owned Belmond hoteliers from S. Africa, Mexico, Italy, Portugal and Peru in the span of an hour in San Francisco was magical!

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” ― Ferris Bueller

Have a beautiful week. Find time for the networking magic. xo Stacy

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Stacy Hope Small

Founder & CEO: Elite Travel Club | Author: Why Not Me?!? | Now Bay Area-based and writing the sequel: A Little Bit Spiritual, A Little Bit CEO.