Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The NetParty Networking event ---New York

I often wonder what makes a networking event successful. Is the number of attendees, the business exchanges or the money the organizer will make or lose? If the number is important, tonight's NetParty networking event was definitely a success. There was a long line at Hiro Ballroom venue and inside many more. We all had our name tag on the top of our shirt or jacket. To make ourselves known and be present.

I didn't find anything professional during the night (although I admit I left very early!). The venue, a nightclub, can't be the ideal location for a professional networking meeting. It was dark, relatively loud and the number of attendees as high as it was prohibited from social interaction. To me, the large number of attendees (800 based on their website) was a disadvantage. How you can introduce yourself to someone when it is dark, you are squeezed by someone who is pushing you and you can't see the name of the potentially interesting person who came to network with you? And don't get me started with the promised and highly expected from hungry professionals hors d'ouevres. Very few that left as soon as they were out! I managed to get a melted cheese canapé in a questionable quality bread....that was all!

Finally, who on earth decided that professional networking events are actually dating parties? To my knowledge and from my experience from serial networking for nearly two years in London, professional networking has nothing to do with flirting and dating. For those, you go to events for singles or speed-dating parties. Single men were approaching me in a very flirtatious mood but they didn't do it well. If you want to flirt, do it all the way. Don't pretend to be interested in my business or career. Because you aren't my man!

Tonight's event was actually interesting to observe. The NetParty networking objectives may been satisfied. But for me, it wasn't what I personally expect from professional gatherings. The event tonight belongs to a different sphere - that of the social/dating/having-fun on Tuesday night/ sphere. I won't return to confirm. I am certain. Maybe a change in NetParty's objectives wouldn't be a bad idea. Or title. Just keep the "social", delete the "professional".

And I missed the High-flying aerialists performing overhead....

Organization: 8/10
People: 8/10
Interaction: 3/10
Networking: 3/10
Go back: 0/10