Digital Eve Israel Speed Networking Event Feb. 7, 2008

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Digital Eve Israel’s Speed Networking Event

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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.

Also noteworthy

  • 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 🙂

Overall

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?

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About the Author Jacob Share

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17 comments
Miriam says

Jacob, thanks for the summary of the event. I really wanted to go but had to cancel at the last minute, and was wondering how it was. And my I say kol hakavod for going despite your gender!

Despite the glitches, it sounds like it was a good event and I hope I’ll be able to make it next time.

By the way, did they mention the new site at all (which we designed and built)?

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jacob says

Glad you found the writeup useful, Miriam.

No, the new site wasn’t mentioned while I was there but I did get there late. I also had my own punctuality issues 🙂

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ANNA WELTMAN says

I liked the hour of informal networking that went on before the event officially started. I think this is a feature that should be repeated in future events.
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jacob says

Anna, I think that time for informal networking is important but that it should be after the speed networking part of the evening.

Speed networking is great for meeting many people in a short timespan. Less stressful informal networking would complement that well by giving you a chance to followup more in depth, at your own pace, with some of the choice people you met while still in the same room.

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Lauren says

Firstly, I’d like to thank those who worked so hard to organize the event, which was very successful.

Jacob, the event was scheduled to begin at 7.00pm not 7.30.

The informal networking (which wasn’t advertised) was fine but should have taken place at the end of the event, not at the beginning.

In future, it might be a good idea to advertise the program so that people can decide what their priorities are if they have limited time. My ride home to the north, left at 9.00pm without me.

I really liked the short musical interlude even though it wasn’t part of the networking.

Regarding the food, those were the most expensive sandwiches I’ve ever eaten and not being able to identify what I was eating (due to the dim lighting) bothered me. Yes I know that they also served wine, cold and hot drinks (and fruit and pastries to those who didn’t have to leave early)

Hope to contribute more of my knowledge and experience as an event planner next time.

Lauren

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ANNA WELTMAN says

Jacob et al,

There are benefits to having relaxing informal schmooze-time at the beginning of an event…to help people begin to feel comfortable after arriving. (Think: dinner party…nobody ever sits down at the table right away to eat) and it also helps to break the ice before embarking on the ‘systematic mingling’.

Either way, I’m sure the next event will be successful and useful as was this one.

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Debi Zylbermann says

Firstly, many thanks to the organizers, I enjoyed the evening very much.
I was actually quite happy with the unplanned mingling at the beginning, but I think that the planned part of the evening could have started earlier (although I would ask not before 20:00, as 19:00 is very early for us out-of-towners).
Miriam – yes, the website was mentioned, during the opening comments.
Looking forward to the next event.

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jacob says

Lauren- thanks for feedback and the correction, which I added to the article. I should have checked my own announcement 🙂

How did you get home in the end?

Anna- you make a good point. I can also imagine a spur of the moment decision to wait if the organizers saw that few of the attendees had arrived by 7.

Debi- thanks for your correction too. I’m glad Miriam got the answer she was hoping for.

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Ellen Perlis says

Jacob, everyone was there to advertise, not just the singer. so let her advertise, or does a female singer make you uncomfortable? The last event was 90 shekels for a “light” dairy dinner that was a good meal for the money. Maybe there needed to be more emphasis on the value members were getting rather than the cost – or have you been reading the DEI list lately? Short of being required to submit a photo with our blurb, you come up with a solution to matching beings with blurbs.

I’d like to see a bunch of men come up with someting even close to the kind of event Digital Eve puts on. they always seem to go to these and ask the women why there isn’t something like this for men… If I hadn’t had other obligations, I would have come to this one. I go whenever I can. so maybe we’ll meet up at the next one.

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jacob says

Hi Ellen,
If a female singer made me uncomfortable, do you think I would come to an event that I knew would be almost exclusively attended by women?

Your line about a “bunch of men” is funny because I was contacted by a male member of the mailing list who suggested “we men” go and do just what you say.

I think you’re both missing the point.

As I was telling someone on Thursday night, I find *in general* that women are more compassionate than men and that’s certainly a trait of the active DEI list members (female AND male). There are many other mailing lists in Israel that I’ve blogged about, but the DEI list is still my favorite for that reason.

DEVAs give without asking for something in return. Quick story to illustrate.

At the end of the night on Thursday, one woman needed a lift to Jerusalem. She quickly found one, but in asking around, a 2nd woman said “Oh! I need a ride back too.” The 1st woman spent even more time looking for another seat than she had spent looking for her own. I told her that she was a great example of what the DEI list is all about.

Good idea about submitting photos along with the blurbs. There are other ways too, but in the ideal situation the event is planned so that everyone gets to meet everyone else in which case tie-ins are less important. I’m not claiming it’s easy to organize but I’ve seen it done on multiple occasions.

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Jessica says

Great to read this writeup, and agree just about everything you wrote on here. Nice to see another point of view on this event other than what is posted on the list—people want to be supportive, but it’s nice to have a forum for comments so the next event can be even better.

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jacob says

Thanks for that, Jessica. I know what you mean but in case someone else misses it- being supportive is not just compliments, it’s also constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement. But I don’t want to harp on that either; I did enjoy the event after all.

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Miriam says

Debi – thanks for your answer about the site.

As for the order of the networking sessions – I’m sure there are advantages and disadvantages to both. No event will ever be perfect, and there will always be people who aren’t happy about something.

All in all it sounds like a great event that some very busy women somehow managed to find the time to put together, so kol hakavod to them!

As for the men – I think it’s great that men come and they should be made to feel welcome. How would we women feel if an all-men’s group formed that didn’t welcome women? We’d be screaming discrimination.

Now that women are finally in a position of advantage, I think we should share what we’ve created with men (especially, as Jacob says, a men’s group would never be as compassionate as DE).

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Vivian Cohen - Leisorek says

Here’s my MEA CULPA. I’m sorry I did not respond (publicaly) to somebody’s question on the DEI list last week asking whether HE could attend. Curious if he made it in the end… Glad to hear others (including you) did.
Jacob, sorry I missed this event – would have been good to catch up- and thanks for the summary.

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Lauren says

Jacob you asked how I got home – caught 22.30 train to Akko. Had to be fetched there at 12.40am (lo naim!) – got home at 1.15 am. (lo nora)

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jacob says

Miriam- hear hear!

Vivian- You must be referring to Hanoch. I did email him to tell him that I was going, but I don’t know if he made it or not. I’m also sorry you missed the event. I should have mentioned that above- I didn’t get to see any of the DEVA bloggers.

Lauren- I wonder if anyone came a longer distance than you did. You deserve an award for your effort at the next event. At least it was the train, much more relaxing than the bus.

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Kate says

That is an honest evaluation of an event.

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