Thursday, September 09, 2010

It's Time To Grow Up

A few weeks ago, I was in Jacksonville hosting an after-hours mixer of about 60+ business professionals at a nice restaurant (The Capital Grille). The mixer was scheduled in conjunction with another project I am working on called Top 1000 Professionals. The goal of Top 1000 is pretty simple: Create professional groups inside of Facebook in cities across the U.S. to help people use their Facebook profile to meet other professionals both online and offline.
The project launched just a few months ago (April 2010) in 30 cities around the United States. Since April, the groups have already grown collectively to over 20,000 members. We've also hosted over 50 events which have been attended by over 2,000 of those members in 18 different cities including Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Seattle, San Diego, Kansas City and Orlando to name a few. The events have proven so popular that we've officially 'partnered' Top 1000 with Fast Pitch! to allow Fast Pitch! Platinum Members the ability to attend the events for free!
Although the events are usually held in nice locations (i.e. Capital Grille, Ruths Chris Steakhouse, Morton's, etc.), I promote them as being very casual. By casual I mean, a 'no-pressure' style environment where you can come and go as you please... no lengthy presentations, no gatekeeper questioning whether you you've crashed the event, etc. It's pretty straightforward. You go there to grab a drink and hopefully spend your energy focused on networking.
For the most part, everyone 'gets it', and leaves complimenting us on the refreshing change to the usual 'drop your business card in a fishbowl and win a 50/50 raffle' style event. If you've been to those type of events, you know what I mean... those events (and organizations) that seem to be stuck in a time warp.
However, despite our success, there's always a handful of people (almost always in their mid 50's) who seem to struggle with the idea that a networking event doesn't have to be structured like an elementary school classroom. Rather than focus on the opportunities directly in front of them, they spend the bulk of their time complaining about the size of the room, the type of food provided, the lack of structure, the caliber of people not being what they expected (coming from most of these people, this is laughable), etc. There's no pleasing them and quite frankly, they act like children.

So now I'm forced to draw a line in the sand.
If you're a person who fits the above description (i.e. you tend to complain) or you're looking for a 50/50 raffle... please stay away... or be prepared to be asked to leave. Our events are for mature audiences only.

:)

Bill


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