Digital Eve Israel's first speed networking event of 2008 was Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008. Should you look forward to their next speed networking event?
Good this time
- Location – Sektor 17's studios was a very cool venue that gave the event energy, much better than a corporate meeting room. Being in Tel Aviv so close to the highway, train and central bus station was a big help since many of the attendees came from out of the area.
- Attendees list – Susie Kaufman compiled a list of of attendees' bios and contact information for emailing Thursday morning. The list was useful as a way to prepare for the event and is still useful as a mini-address book after the event. Terrific idea.
- Turnout size – by my estimate, about 60-70 people came to the event. All the seats were filled and it was easy to find a networking partner with each blow of the speed networking whistle.
- Liane Thompson's presentation – one of Sektor 17's founders, Liane discussed how content is overtaking technology as companies' main Internet investment. Subtle advertising for her company but also an accurate reading of current trends that was visibly appealing to people in the room.
Better for next time
- Punctuality – although the event was billed for 7pm, the official proceedings only began closer to 9pm after an hour of informal networking.
- Speed networking needs automation – attendees were supposed to switch partners every 3 minutes at the blow of a whistle but it didn't happen that way. Next time, there should either be a computer sounding the whistle or a designated person with a stopwatch.
- Musical performance – before the speed networking actually began, there was a 5-minute musical performance by an up-and-coming singer. A nice voice and a talented girl but aside from advertising her services, it wasn't clear what benefit she added to the evening.
- Tie-in to the attendees' list needed – as useful as the attendees' list was, it was difficult to find a specific person featured without yelling their name or holding up a sign.
- Refreshments – NIS 75 was too high a fee for the catered light dairy buffet. The soft drinks, tea and coffee were the main draw and would be enough in the future.
- There were 4-5 men at the event among the 60+ women.
- Many of the people present were professionals in some kind of business communications, dealing with foreign media, marketing or corporate communications.
- There were JobMobbers there! It was great to meet Yael and Vered face to face, good luck to you two with your projects 🙂
I enjoyed the evening, met some great people and came away with a small stack of business cards and email addresses. However, I didn't get to meet even half the number of people I was expecting to, or even some of the names I had noted on Susie Kaufman's list. That said, networking events can often take a long time before proving their value.
If you went to the event, were you happy with it?