Well tonight I created a bit of a furore by deigning to say what I thought about a networking event associated with Mashable and Motorola. Well of course expectations are high when those names are bandied about but when it is more a free bar than an actual event it gets more and more bizarre.
When you get this as the intro ” Message from Mashable:
We’re thrilled to celebrate Mashable’s third annual Social Media Day! We launched the event in 2010 as a way to recognize the digital revolution happening right before our eyes. We invite you to join fellow social media enthusiasts by hosting or attending a Social Media Day Meetup in your area. ”
So what do you expect from this? Well at the very least some sociable, maybe a bit of tech, a savvy speaker or two and possibly something inspiring and forward thinking.
So find the venue is a good start and the uninspiring metal door wasn’t a good start.. but hey things can look different on the inside… so follow the hand written instructions on a page of A4 and the door is opened by a buzzer.. to be greeted by 102 steps to the top floor (I counted them on the way back down)… and a note I found amusing taped to the wall saying nearly there on the floor below… sign in is a hand written a4 sheet to add your email and name to (all very high tech) and a hi, but despite trying to start a conversation there was no this is here that is there and our format will be… although a nice girl did offer me a drink, which was sadly all alcoholic.
Off to find a bar and wander around and I made a call at the back of the fantastic roof garden. Despite being in the gods the venue was cool and would love to look at it for a future event. The bar and nibbles were free and some people took great advantage of this and that seemed to be all they were there for but then that often happens. I did expect the 100 or so people who registered to turn up, especially when the bar was free but about half did.
The music in the main room was too loud, or am I getting old? People who came in seemed to stay in the cliques they came in or knew someone there, so for those who turned up knowing no one there were quiet corners you can hope to meet people in. Sadly the garden area was ruined by smokers, I know that is not a thing to say in front of those who are vehement in their right to pollute the air, as you can see I dislike it. I do agree they should be able to do whatever they wish – just not to the detriment of those who don’t.
I still have no idea who the organisers were as no one introduced themselves. I did however have a few really nice conversations with some people who were very nice and all seemed to think the same as me, which is always a good thing, but it did have to be forced and some ways of breaking the ice for some people would have been nice.
I have been to thousands of events in the past 25 years or so and organised quite a few too and this was almost bizarre in its oddness. Even worse was the responses to comment I left on the meetup page…
“What a disappointment, for those of you who registered & didn’t bother showing up u missed nothing… probably the oddest most unsociable network event ever, cliquey & not worth the 102 steps to the top (but the venue was fab), loud music in the main arena & smokers dominating the fantastic open space at the rear as a motorola and mashable event it needed to have something other than red candle holders & chocolate… sorry guys… u didn’t help people feel at ease or encourage conversations.”
Being accused of needing to grow up by someone who could have done with the same advice given their (I am guessing) alcohol infused behaviour is interesting. Having someone say don’t say anything unless it is good and then feedback both good and bad are acceptable is also a little bizarre but hey this is a very strange event so anything seems to go. Anyway you can read the comments for yourself here and see what others thought and who signed up.
Obviously every event is what you make of it, and I think it is very difficult to have something to please everyone but when you are using one of the most recognised and respected names in the social media world you really should live up to their reputation.
As a free bar goes it worked very well… as an event for celebrating social media day.. well you can tell what I think… what about you?