I had the pleasure to be surrounded by very entrepreneurial Minnesota women last night. This was the first event that I think I have been to that was, well, all women! It was held at CoCoMSP, where you may remember Garrio a post from last week talking about it.
The overall experience was very powerful, because a lot of the women were fellow “social medistas” and also people I have watched in the design and marketing community. I downloaded the list that was hidden on the website and got to review the 300+ attendees that had registered and study up a bit!
I had noticed that Clock Work a woman-driven geek inspired company had sponsored the event, but sadly they were not present. Good work on their part, I’m guessing the event was pretty reasonable to sponsor and made someone like me admire their company even more.
A few things stood out to me. The food was lame. If your going to say appetizers then it better have some substance for a girl plans this out. If it is cheese and a flatbread basket, leave it off and people can be surprised and excited for something to nibble on. The drinks were $5 each, and attendees got 1 drink ticket (even though I didn’t get one, must have been missed, but then @CleverKate gave me two half-way through the night). #score
It was hard to hear during the break-out table discussions and they were suppose to be 6 20 minute sessions, when there should have been 5, 7 minute sessions with 15 minutes breaks in between to extend your chatting.
There was such a variety of women, which truly made it a refreshing experience! It was kind of exciting to me to have only met about 3 of the women in person before the event out of the about 150… (totally guessing the number of attendees).
When women get together we judge the shoes people wear, in this case the boots and how after one glass of wine we get even louder and the cheeks become redder.
I had a follow-up already from a lady that I knew instantly after meeting last night would be the “unpersonal-junk-mail-filling-annoying-kind” and that became true! I received her mass-mailed BS (blind-sended) 9 paragraph email that even included her picture! Too bad. I guess she meant-well but please we are women! At least be a bit more personal and even though a picture could be a good idea, you are not a real estate agent.
10 hours later… I found myself at the International Market Square where Ad Fed was hosting the first breakfast of the 2011-12 season. Dan Khabie the CEO of Digitaria spoke about Agency Culture and the Evolution of a Digital Agency.
I was very excited to meet Dan for I admire what his company is producing and how they present themselves in the social media space.
My take-a-ways from his presentation was the importance of again, Client Services and being innovative! Dan would not be where he is at today unless he took chances and he even said daily he is still learning and trying new things. Adjusting his brand and agency to attract the right clients and merge with others to strengthen his talents too.
Dan is from St Louis Park and now lives in San Diego with his agency, but he takes pride in saying it is a west coast agency with a mid-west soul. I asked Dan how he maintains that on a day-to-day level with his employees. He said that he sends long-winded emails and checks in along with walks the hallways and invites people out for coffee and lunch randomly. He also said he still buys individual gifts for each employee, VCR’s, flat-screen TV’s thing like that.
Did I mention his company is almost 150 people?
Tonight, I think I better lay-low. Drinks with close friends and a date with Steve is in order. Why do I put myself through this “networking stuff”…well… because I love it.
shaking hands and hugging women… wait a minute… I mean networking with women.
your mn design gal
ps. Going to new events alone may be scary, there will be the point where you sit in your car and start to think you don’t want to go in. GO IN! The best networking happens when you are alone and not chatting or having to introduce your counter-part.