Last night I attended an event hosted by Mediabistro. Different. It was held at the Ekko Lounge in Hollywood. Not exactly a networking environment with all the blaring dance music and flashing dance lighting over the dance floor. However, I did meet a couple of very interesting and successful people. One is a casting director who gave me loads of free advice on how to jump start this site and my art consulting business. Awesome. The other a producer, who it turns out has been to my home town and lived around the corner from each other in NYC. So in actuality, the evening for me was not a complete bust. However, the opportunity to meet with professionals in your field of interest I found difficult. If you are not outgoing in this kind of situation you'd stand around alone and that is the kiss of death. There was no conduit to meeting people in your realm of interest. If there was just a bit of organization about the event, like halting the music (or at least lowering the volume) to thank the attendees and then asking each person to give an uber short intro (2 sentence statement) about themselves and their interests I think a lot more business could have been done. They could even come up with a game or something... at least to break the ice. The way it's currently set up is you look over the crowd for a friendly (cute or handsome more than likely) face and hope that when you approach them they are in your field. More often than not they aren't.
I also met a writer (novelist) Kristin Harmel who wrote and was signing her latest release "Italian for Beginners." When I asked about the title, like oh, "did you live in Italy?" She said no but she went on vacation once. I sort of chuckled, but hey, she is published and the story may well be good. I'll let you know when I read it (6 books from now). I also met a couple of entertainment writers. It seems the event had some has beens and some wannabees. A perfect mix. Anyhow, I believe the event was successful in the eyes of the event planners. There were at least 100 people in attendance and most seemed to be mingling. I did hear that many people had been coming to these events regularly and other had brought friends to keep the stress down on being in a strange environment alone.