|I thought you had the camera.|
OK, maybe that’s not what you call a group of entrepreneurs — you know, like a pride of lions or a flock of geese or a murder of crows — but it sounds like a possibility to me.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that Lisa and I attended a small “Entrepreneurs Expo” this evening as a part of our “Date Night”. Never let it be said that we don’t know how to have a good time!
This was a small event set up by a local apartment complex to allow their entrepreneurial tenants to set up display tables and meet with other small business people in the complex’s clubhouse. Apparently they had just finished some major renovations on the place and were looking to show off the new digs and foster a sense of community among the tenants. They had refreshments and a nice fire in the fireplace.
The only problem from a networking standpoint was that the turnout was a bit light. This was probably partially due to the fact that this was the first one they’ve attempted, which meant that the event hadn’t built a name for itself. The other factor was probably the simple fact that it was Friday night and most business folks don’t think of attending events like this on the weekend. The organizer, Tamara Meyer, told me that she plans on holding these expos about once a quarter. I’m sure as they continue they will refine their technique and end up with more attendees.
The one thing I did want to point out that I really liked was the makeup of the different entrepreneurs who had display tables. In particular, Tamara had the genius of inviting a local artist, Keith Paris, to set up a display of his work. I loved this because those who attend events like this often see the same business types every time they show up. Featuring an artist as an entrepreneur was unusual enough that it really made the whole evening worthwhile for us.
I’ll be curious to see how Tamara and her team continue to develop this concept. Running your own networking event is never easy and there will always be a bit of trial and error. As we’ve spoken about in the past, though, the best networkers are almost always the ones who go beyond just making connections for themselves and instead go to the greater effort of trying to foster a community.
In that light Tamara is certainly on her way to becoming a great networker.
Photo credit: A. Carlos Herrera