Hello everyone. I’m back from the first of a series of national book tours, promoting my new book The Single Person’s Cookbook. This first book signing was held at the home of my good friend Ms. Marty Martin who was gracious enough to allow 30+ people to converge on her beautiful and, palatial hundred year old home; despite the partial destruction of a key East Bay freeway the day of the event. The menu which featured meatballs with goat cheese, seafood cakes topped with sour cream and caviar and salmon schmear on cucumber and chives were a huge hit(I’ve been warned to have these on hand at the June 15th event or there would be trouble). After a 3 hour sampling of my recipes (some of which will be featured in my follow-up book) the attendees bought out nearly every copy of my book making the event even more of a success. And speaking of which, if you’re in the Bay Area on June 15th please feel free to stop by the Minna Gallery From 5-9pm 111 Minna S.F.,Ca. SOMA (Between Howard and Mission on 2nd Street) featuring 2 full bars, coat check and d.j. with Special Guest The Billy Riggs Band. Please RSVP me at firstname.lastname@example.org to attend however because we are expecting at least 60+ attendees and I want to make sure I have an approximate head count so that there is enough food for everyone. And speaking of parties?
Small Business Week 2007
Once again it’s that time of year in Northern California when small business owners are honored for their contributions to the community as well the economy. Mayor Gavin Newsome (the best Mayor the city of San Francisco has ever had in my opinion) hosts a gala event featuring food from some of the best restaurants and caterers the city has to offer. The event is the kick-off to a week long series of celebrations, networking events, classes and award ceremonies. While I can’t make it to every event, I did happen to attend yesterday’s kick-off celebration at City Hall (which in my opinion was worth it just for the “hello” I received from his honor, the Mayor). Because I attend this event every year I tend to notice certain changes in the production and execution. Now, anyone who has ever planned a large party, wedding or event can attest to the enormity of the task in producing a good one. The smallest details often become the most important and most noticeable. Because I recently went through this myself, I can empathize with the production staff of yesterday’s festivities. So the following suggestions should be taken with a grain of salt with the appreciation from someone who will be producing another large event in six weeks. So here are my thoughts which I think can be applied to anyone planning a networking event in the near future?
Get the word out to attract more attendees. Because I attend this event every year, it’s ironic that I often find out about it by accident. In other words, I never see an advertisement, or press release, commercial, e-mail, letter or invitation reminding me of the event let alone the fact that it’s Small Business Week (my editor at AllBusiness.com reminded me last week). A networking event is only as good as the attendees who make it happen.
As much as I hate the idea of wearing name tags at a networking event, I must admit that they are effective. I noticed that no one was wearing name tags at yesterday’s event because unlike last year there was no one to “check in” attendees at the door. Name tags allow a perfect stranger to approach you, and strike up a conversation about your firm. When there are no name tags to break the ice, it makes networking with potential customers chancy. Ever introduce yourself to someone (at an event) only to find that you have no interest in doing business with them? Or better yet you inadvertently introduce yourself to a competitor? Name tags eliminate the possibility of networking with attendees you have no intention of doing business with.