Networking events for IT professionals. Award winning blog series. Weekly podcast. Meet. Read. Listen. By @echodave, @bobwaltenspiel

A Great Event Last Night at Red Ox Tavern in Utica

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Originally posted 2011-06-17 11:51:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

So, maybe the East side isn’t so bad for us after all.

Even though the Snooker’s event was something of a debacle, and we were a little hesitant about heading back to that side of town…the Red Ox Tavern turned out to be a decent place for us.  There were a few issues, but all things being considered, it went really well and I’m glad we gave the East side another shot.  We’ll definitely plan more events out that way.

Here’s a quick recap of the evening…

I guess let’s go ahead and get “the bad” out of the way so that we can get to what went well.

We definitely need to make sure that locations are easy to find and get to.  Google’s navigation system pretty much laughed at me at one point during my drive, because the combination of “through parking lot”, “down side street with no name”, “random fork in road in parking lot” just crippled it.  I had flashbacks to “Big Ben, Parliament” as I cruised through the parking lots and down winding industrial roads muttering “Dammit…I can see it…it’s right there…but I can’t get to it…”  Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one that had those problems, as it was a topic of conversation throughout the evening with a few folks.  Since we let him run with this one, I’m going to invite you all to join me in blaming Bob, because that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The room/area we were setup in was a little on the small side, but decent nonetheless.  It’s definitely a good thing we didn’t have our usual BlackFinn-sized crowd show up, because even with a smaller crowd we were overflowing out into adjacent areas by 5:30.

Which brings us to “the good”, actually, starting with the crowd.  Had a great mix of people that showed up last night.  There were, of course, the usual compliment of job seekers and recruiters, but we also had a lot more people this time showing up just to make connections and bounce ideas off new sounding boards, which was really nice to see and have happen.  On the job seeker front, we must be doing something right, because we had someone that drove down from Muskegon to be at our event.  Muskegon.  That’s like a crazy three hour drive…but he’d heard about us from our connection to the folks out in Grand Rapids, and wanted to come check things out for himself and see what he could find (mental note: I owe him an email about that gig he’d be good for) by coming to one of our events.  So we had job seekers, recruiters, folks looking to network…and then we also had a few companies that showed up looking to drum up some new business, as well as some venture capital folks looking for people with business ideas in need of cash to get rolling.

The staff could not possibly have been any nicer, friendlier, and most importantly “present”.  There were three or four different waitresses wandering through at any given point in time taking orders and keeping everyone set with whatever it was they wanted.  Major kudos to them for that, and we certainly appreciated it.

Interestingly (or laughably, you decide) enough, we also had a few folks that had been at one of those “pay to play” events the night before, and apparently the biggest difference between our events and theirs (well, other than you’re not paying to get into ours, of course) can, I think, best be summed up by the quote: “If I wanted to get hit on by dbags and jerks, I’d be on a dating website not at a networking event…but I need to network and meet people professionally, and so I’m really glad I found you guys.”

We’re happy that you found us, too.  Now remember to make sure you tell everyone else (well, not everyone…the dbags and jerks can stay away) about us and we hope to see you all at future events.

Our unofficially official photographer wasn’t with us last night, so we only have a few shots, but they’re out there if you’re interested.  (thanks, Russ!)

The last of us cleared out right around 10:00, and that brings our recap of the evening to a close.

Look forward to seeing you at our next event, which will be on July 21st at the much easier to find BlackFinn in Royal Oak.

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