By Pat Hammond

I need your help. Last week I announced a new format for the Weekly Roundup. After taking a couple of months off from the blog, I've come to the conclusion that I can no longer commit a day and a half each week tracking down event listings.

Starting this week the new format will be limited to my top picks and any events you share with me through the event submission form.

The new format is also going to include more community events. 

After attending a lot of roundtables, symposiums, and other similar discussion events, it's become abundantly clear that many of the challenges faced by local businesses stem from the fact that a lot of people feel disconnected from the world around them. 

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By Pat Hammond

Changes to Weekly Roundup

There is no doubt that the Weekly Roundup is Queen City Buzz's most popular resource. The problem is that even when I limit it to just the Manchester metro area it takes me an entire day, sometimes a day and a half, to research and write. 

Imagine losing almost a quarter of your work week to something that doesn't generate revenue. It's not sustainable. 

I had already talked with Manchester Ink Link about doing a monthly roundup featuring two or three key events, but that leaves a lot of networking opportunities on the table. 

So starting next week I'm going to try a new format. Instead of me spending an entire day trying to find events, I'm asking you to share your events with me. 

The deadline is 5:00 PM every Wednesday and all you need to do is email me at or fill out this event form

This is very much a work in progress.

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By Pat Hammond

You snooze, you lose...

I'm a proactive person. My usual modus operandi is to make a plan, commit, and take action.  Only this time I didn't. 

I really wanted to go to Tuesday's Leadership Under Pressure event at the Currier to hear Rick Kaiser, network and introduce myself to some of the other attendees. If I played my cards right, the people I met would springboard the re-brand of NH Business Guild and introduce me to several of Manchester's A-list business connections. 

It could have been a win-win.  But I lost. 

Instead of hearing Kaiser's talk I'm searching the web for interviews and articles featuring his insights and experience with leadership and I'm scrolling through my address book to find connections who may know someone who can introduce me to someone who knows some of the people I wanted to meet. 

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By Pat Hammond

¿Habla usted español?

Are you looking for a fun way to meet some people and pick up a new skill?  Think about dropping by one of the Speak Spanish group's weekly meetings. 

Whether you took two years of high school Spanish or are a native speaker, Manchester's Speak Spanish Meetup is a great way to practice your language skills and have some fun while meeting a variety of people in a laid back, unintimidating environment. 

Meetups are every Wednesday from 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM at Panera Bread, 52 March Ave (TJ Maxx Plaza) in Manchester.  

Member's language skills run everywhere from people trying to teach themselves Spanish to people who took a couple years of high school Spanish, all the way up to language teachers and native speakers.  Typical meetings include open networking, games, and conversation in Spanish with enough English to make a new learner comfortable.  

I am a member of the group and I can attest to how much support the group provides for anyone trying to learn Spanish.  

Networking doesn't have to be business cards and cocktails.  Groups like this a great way to meet a broad cross-section of people while building your confidence.  If you can sneak out of the office an hour early once a week or even once a month, the Speak Spanish Meetup is definitely worth your time. 

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By Pat Hammond

Limited networking events next week. 

It's to be expected, next week is the week before Christmas and the events calendar is a little light.  

The good news is there are a few events like Strategies & Skills for Successful Negotiations, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM on Wednesday, and two Toastmasters meetings, Thursday morning and evening for anyone looking to dust off or learn a new skill for the new year. 

If you're like me an still have a little shopping to do, the Craftworkers' Guild is hosting their annual Holiday Fair now through Saturday, December 22nd at the Oliver Kendall House, 5 Meetinghouse Road, Bedford.  Doors are open 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily. It's a great opportunity to check work from local artists and find a unique gift for that hard-to-shop-for relative.

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By Pat Hammond

Put some jingle in your mingle with a couple holiday networking events

We are at the point in the year when the short days and early nights can make it a struggle to motivate to an after hours business event.  Why not take advantage of the holiday season to do something a little different? 

Many businesses offer holiday open houses and events designed to thank their customers, spread good cheer, and promote their business.  

The Whole Foods Market in Bedford is hosting Holiday Arts 'n Eats from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM in their store at 21 South River Road.  This free event will showcase tasty treats from local suppliers as well as a selection of work from local Etsy artists.  It's a great opportunity to do some casual networking and shopping before you head home.  

Also next week, Marketplace Home Mortgage is hosting a free Holiday Open House Soiree including drinks, food, and fun for clients, industry partners, and the community.  The event will be held at the Marketplace Home Mortgage office, 116 South River Road in Bedford, on on Thursday, December 13th from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM.  

Marketplace Home Mortgage is an official Toys for Tots donation site, for anyone who would like to bring a donation.  

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By Pat Hammond

Queen City Buzz is back on the events calendar, and I'm doing it big.

I'm joining 603 Networking and WBC Office Suites for a FREE networking event on Wednesday, December 5th from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM at WBC Office Suites, 1087 Elm Street, Manchester.   

This is a great opportunity to:

  • Network with other local business people & techs 
  • Check out the new co-working space
  • Meet the people behind 603 Networking & Queen City Buzz

And if you can't make Wednesday's event in Manchester, 603 Networking will be in the Enterprise Conference Room at Gateway Hills in Nashua on Monday, December 3rd.  

Diversity is the key to a strong network and the best way to accomplish that is by attending joint events like these because they draw from a cross-section of people from different industries. 

If you feel like you're seeing the same people at your regular meetups and networking groups, try one of next week's 603 Networking events.   

Remember to check out this week's webinars at the bottom of the page.

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By Pat Hammond

Join NH Business Directory and small business benefits expert Tim Hirsch from Planstin for a Brown Bag Lunch & Learn: How to Compare Insurance to Find the Best Price & Coverage

Warning! Blatant self-promotion ahead!

I meet a lot of small business owners and people who work for small businesses and the one thing they all have in common is the need to find their own health insurance.  

Obamacare did a great job protecting people with critical health problems, but it put the pinch on the rest of us by effectively reducing coverage with increased costs and deductibles.  

With the open enrollment deadline rapidly approaching I decided to put together a lunch & learn to help people overcome open enrollment overwhelm.

  • Review insurance alternatives - not all plans are on the exchange
  • Get answers about the real cost of coverage (premiums vs. out of pocket, deductibles, & co-pays)
  • Learn how to compare coverage to find the best plan for you

This is not a sales event.

I'm a writer.  I don't sell insurance and I'm not an insurance expert, so I invited my good friend Tim Hirsch, from human resource solutions provider Planstin to present an outline of insurance options and answer questions.

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By Pat Hammond

Celebrate the First Amendment with the 16th Annual Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Awards!

Can you imagine having to get permission from the police department every time you wanted to hold a networking event?

How about your business website or blog?  Without the First Amendment, there would be no privately owned blogs, no newspapers, and no dissenting opinions.  There would also be no exchange of ideas or innovation.  

Much of today's web technology was developed through the collaboration of people across the globe.  Following that line of logic, there would be no internet.  

  • Free Speech
  • Free Press
  • Free Assembly
  • The ability to choose and practice religion, or choose not to
  • The ability to petition the government

These rights were so important to our nation's founding fathers that they were listed first when they drafted the Bill of Rights.  

The Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Awards were created to "honor First Amendment freedoms and those in New Hampshire who go above and beyond to uphold them."  

In its sixteenth year, the annual First Amendment Award illustrates the importance of flexing the rights guaranteed to all citizens in the Constitution.  

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By Pat Hammond

A little bit of everything to keep a hopeful networker busy :)


I should probably be embarrassed to admit this, but it took me a few minutes to figure out why there is only one event on Tuesday.  It's not that I didn't know Election Day is Tuesday the 6th, I just didn't realize that next Tuesday is the 6th.

Go figure. 

If you're like me and your calendar is on overwhelm or you just need a break from regular networking events, take a look at the "Sip 'n Read" event with author Paula Moore on Sunday. 

She has an interesting tale about how her life changed after winning $42 million dollars in the lottery.  I haven't had the chance to read it, but I'm pretty sure she has some useful advice for when you find your golden ticket.  In the meantime, keep networking. And maybe buy a couple lottery tickets.

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