A meeting being held tonight to find ways to exploit the recession has attracted 220 members of Vancouver’s business community.

Representatives from Chapters, Blenz, ICBC and Canaccord have signed up for the
get-together, which is part networking night, part empowerment session, part support group, as well as a forum for professionals to share success stories, coping skills and stay motivated.

Stay Positive B.C., which is being held at the Pacific Palisades Hotel, was the brainchild of business coach Robert Arthurs, who wanted to celebrate good news rather than obsess over the bad.

“(I) started thinking about doing a positive sign protest at the Lion’s Gate Bridge, with signs saying, ‘Nice car!’ or ‘Hug your kids!’ Then it morphed into something different.”

Arthurs said participants will get to share ideas and expertise, learning how businesses are adapting and how those strategies might benefit them.

Bonnie Sainsbury, a social media strategist, said business has to be innovative to survive, and people often need to re-invent themselves to adapt to a changing environment.

She said the new social networking phenomenon Twitter is a perfect example of businesses finding new ways to connect and create exposure.

“Even if there weren’t an economic upheaval, the way people do businesses changes daily,” said Sainsbury.

“If you’re not paying attention, people can get left behind.”

Tips and tricks for survival
• Don’t surround yourself with negative news.

• Make personal contacts by joining a networking group.

• Volunteer your services instead of waiting for work to come to you and barter your talents.

• Give good value and customer service.

• Re-tool yourself and upgrade your skills.

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