Today is Carb Day in the Indianapolis area. For those outside of Indiana, who may not know, this is practically a state-recognized holiday. It is the final practice session before the race, held on the Friday before the Indianapolis 500. The name originally came from the fact that it was the final session where teams could tune their carburetors, even though carburetors haven’t been used since 1963, the name remains.

In addition to being a party akin to the Kentucky Derby (albeit without fancy hats), Carb Day is also an amazing opportunity to network for companies who do business in Indiana. Many corporations have hospitality tents and many others sponsor fun activities and give away freebies.

I suggest you consider Carb Day the kick-off to your summer business plan and make sure to have your networking toolbox ready to go:

  • Take along 1-2 business cards, but DO NOT hand them out unless asked for your contact info.
  • Be present in the moment, spend time talking to people around you—even total strangers—rather than focusing on your phone.
  • Listen carefully to what people are telling you. If you can help them solve a problem by referring them to a business associate or friend, then make a note to do so on Tuesday (try setting a calendar reminder).

If Carb Day, or any other race weekend activities, are on your agenda this weekend, it’s a great time to begin working on your next possible business opportunity while you have fun.

PR Chick Jill Bode founded Designed Write Public Relations in 1998. Working with recycled bubble gum, string and duct tape, she managed to craft a cutting-edge, custom PR consortium that works with clients all over the world–including BNI Central Indiana.