Last night I attended my first speed networking event. It was organized by Digital Eve, who has held two such events in Tel Aviv, and last night’s was the first one in Jerusalem.
The venue, the Pera e Mela (Apple and Pear) restaurant in Safra Square, was great â€“ good Italian-style food, nice ambience, and an opera-singing owner who did a short piece for us (I’m not kidding!). The women in attendance were of all types and professions, and it was inspiring to meet such a talented, varied and creative group. About 20 women attended, including a handful that schlepped from Tel Aviv. Most of the women were self-employed and business owners, but we had employees as well.
Women of all types were in attendance; religious, secular and in between; a wide range of ages; and native Israelis and olim from England, the US, Canada (me!), Australia, and probably women from other countries that I missed. Based on the business cards I collected and what I remember, here is a sampling of the professions that were represented: 2 life coaches, an organizing consultant, a whole bunch of women involved in marketing of various kinds (including yours truly), a business and project management consultant, event planner, VIP tour planner, the owner of an executive search firm, graphic artist, training manager, and an expert in translation tools!
How speed-networking works: we all sat down, ate (very important at any Jewish/Israeli event) and schmoozed (also Jewishly important!) with the people around us. Leemor Machnai and Susan Fisher then spoke to us about the importance of networking, and how to overcome barriers that we create in our head to networking. Then came the speed-networking part (which I guess is based on the speed-dating idea, or vice versa): we all stood up, and had a few minutes to talk to another woman about what they do, and what they are looking for. Then the whistles would blow (at first loudly but when the proprietor of the restaurant complained the whistling became almost inaudible) and we would move to the next woman. I didn’t have time to meet everyone, but it was great meeting whomever I could.
So we schlepped, schmoozed, and conspired to take over the world after eating some good pasta. All in all, I had a great time. Of course, I don’t get out much these days due to baby and work-overload, so any opportunity to get dressed and meet other adults gets a high ranking from me. But I think that the fact that the event was supposed to end at 10, and at 10:50 Leemor had to gently point out to our surprise that it was almost 11, shows what a great time we were having.
Kol hakavod to Leemor, Susan, and Susie Kaufman (who played a big role in organizing the event but couldn’t come) for putting together such an interesting, inspiring and enjoyable evening. It was nice putting faces to the names I see on the email list, and I’m looking forward to the next Digital Eve event in Jerusalem!