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

The April Casual Networking Event Recap: Live or Memorex?

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…and now we come to the monthly event recap, where Dave sounds like a recording of previous recaps, including some of his greatest hits like:

“Wow, there were a ton of people there!”, “There sure were a lot of new faces!”, (sing along if you know the words) “It was great to see some old, familiar faces too!”, “We learned about some more people who got hired from our events!”, and many more.

All can be yours for just three easy payments of…

Yeah, sorry, couldn’t sleep last night and so I watched a few infomercials.

So, about last night’s event…

Let me start with:

HOLY HELL WHERE DID ALL OF YOU COME FROM?!?! 

2013-04-18_17-59-42_478I mean, seriously people.  

Now, I know that we always get a “bump” after a Pink Slip Party event takes place, but last night was almost ridiculous.

The back room was filled to overflowing by about 5:15pm.  Kind of figuring that would be the case, the doors were thrown open before we even got started, and the area out in front of the back room was packed as well.

And it stayed that way for quite some time.

As always, thanks and love out to Blackfinn for hosting.  They’ve basically been our “home base” of operations for over five years now, and we always appreciate the hell out of them and their staff for working with us every single time.  We don’t say that enough.

And yes, there were a ton of new faces…which as noted earlier, pretty much always happens right after one of our Pink Slip Party events.  We get an influx from two areas – the people who came to the PSP and that was their first event with us and they come back, and then the people who didn’t make it to the PSP but heard about it from people and want to get engaged.  Had a pretty good sampling of both there last night.

2013-04-18_18-00-00_387Some familiar faces…and even a few blasts from the past that made re-appearances after an absence for one reason or another.  Definitely good to see everyone, and the funny part is that even the staff at the Blackfinn is beginning to get to know our “regulars”.  While sitting down and chatting with the bartender as the night drew to a close, even she commented on what a great turnout we had, as well as noting that while there were faces and people she recognized and knew from past events, it was definitely heavy with new traffic.

As far as “success” stories go, gotta give a shout out to Mark Brown of Brown Staffing Solutions, who hired someone from last month’s Pink Slip Party event.   All in all, we learned of about seven new hires so far just from last month’s event alone, plus a few more in the final interview and negotiation stages.  That’s extremely rewarding.

2013-04-18_18-01-25_423On that front, probably the best conversation I had last night was with the gentleman who had been lurking amidst the crowd for a while, and so I made my way over to see if I could help with anything.  In kind of a quiet, subdued voice, he leaned in and said that he just stopped by because he’d been out of work for close to a year, and after almost giving up hope, he came to our Pink Slip Party event last month and that was the very first event of ours that he’d ever been to.

And he started his new job this past Monday as a direct result.

And just wanted to pop in and say “thank you” for helping him.

Awesome.  Simply…awesome.

2013-04-18_18-54-34_649It’s also great to be able to have people show up for the first time, and making the exact introductions that they’re looking to make that night.  If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times people – especially if it’s your first time at one of our events, you find me, you find Bob, or you find Jeff (and Lisa, hopefully you now know which one’s Jeff and which one’s Dave…lol…) and you start with us.  You tell us what you need, what you’re looking for, and we will guide you accordingly.  That holds true if you’re looking for a job, looking to hire someone, or just looking to meet people and expand your network with some solid connections.

Not to keep putting him under the lights, but this is one of the reason’s why Mark Brown’s pretty successful in hiring people from our events.  He asked me to come chat with him when I had a few minutes, so I made my way over to him while taking a breather from making the rounds.  He had a nice, concise list on a piece of paper and said “Here are my really hot needs right now, and if you run across anyone that would fit any of them, that would be great.”   As I stopped for a moment and then said “I’ll be back in a few…”, I’m sure he thought I was just aimlessly wandering off into the crowd never to be heard from again…but, well, as he put it at the end of the night: “…and then I looked up, and there was a line of people waiting to talk with me.”

2013-04-18_18-54-48_545That’s how this works.  We don’t expect you to know everyone in the room.  We have every expectation that you are going to need to rely on us to help make some introductions and connections for you, and that’s why we do these things.  So, find us, introduce yourself, and let us help guide you from there.  We’re not always 100% accurate (we try, but we’re only human), and don’t be put off if we ask you to hang out for a moment or two while we’re wrapping up a current conversation or already guiding someone through the room to arrange an introduction (or, you know, making our way to the bar to get another beer) – trust us, we’re not going to abandon you.  And you’ll want the same level attention that we’re showing the person with whom we’re currently engaged, right?

Right.

Plus, it’s a friendly crowd.  You can always make your own way around the room and meet people as well.  My own blast from the past last night was someone with whom I used to work over a decade ago, and he showed up at our event last night.  At the end of the night, the coolest thing I heard from him was “I walked in here only knowing you, and it was a such a friendly, warm crowd that I didn’t have to be the annoying guy that hovered at your shoulder all night waiting for you to introduce me to someone – walking around the talking with people was really easy with this group.” 

That’s how it’s supposed to be.

So, that’s the recap for our April casual networking event for information technology professionals here in the metro Detroit area.

Hope to see you all next month on Thursday, May 16th at Lucky Strike in Novi, as well as some more new faces!

As always, you can catch the details of our upcoming events on our Events page here: http://www.ITintheD.org/index.php/our-events/, or on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ITintheD, or out on Meetup at http://meetup.ITintheD.org

1 Comment
  1. Ray Braun says

    Really neat mix of new people and old friends at the “home” BlackFinn, crowded more than usual. Great event.

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