Improving Ideas Through Trial By Fire
Attending after hours networking events, alumni affairs and interesting seminars are just one strategy owners and employees of a marketing and advertising agency such as mine might implement to foster new business, expand our network or drink beer. Fortunately for me, the owner of American Databank (a former employer of mine) invited me to a presentation last night that really validated my business acumen all along: knowledge drives you.
My former boss sent me a link after our mid-day lunch meeting last week informing me of a Meetup event coming up that he had so passionately lectured me on during my Reuben sandwich. He assured me that I wouldn’t be disappointed with the topic, location and fee (it was free). I half-heartedly committed thinking a Thursday night at home would be a welcome respite from a week filled with after hour hand shakings and forced smiles. Nonetheless, I showed up at the designated address to be pleasantly surprised that the seminar was in the offices of Mapquest, which I didn’t even know had an office here in Denver. The office itself was a bastion of trend-setting décor that, I am sure, really appeals to the creative and stylish set. I do have to say it was pretty cool.
This particular Meetup event was planned by NewTech, a group of technology enthusiasts who promote local startups by allowing them to present to the group. With over 250 local web developers, programmers, Social Media enthusiasts, internet consultants, marketing agencies and small business owners, the presenters each had five minutes to give an overview of their company, its products and business plan. Each presentation is then followed by five minutes of Q and A.
Last night’s presenters included a new twist on online dating, marketing & branding promotional products and online classified ads. Each presenter varied in their approach, delivery and public speaking skills, but the inevitable lesson I walked away with was: creative ideas still exist and there are small business entrepreneurs willing and able to follow their dreams. As a small business owner myself, I was really impressed with the presenters, their ideas and gumption which renewed some inspiration and enthusiasm in my own creative agency. I learn quite a bit from being out in the business community even though sometimes I would like to slow down. I think many people get in the ruts that plague us all at times, but the active and successful businesses are the ones that are open to new ideas and technology while challenging themselves to improve.
Side note: It was quite amusing to listen to the requisite know-it-all stereotype who sits in the front row asking questions, not to satisfy his own intellectual curiosity, but to make the presenter look foolish. It must be an ingrained instinct in some people!
–President, Encite Marketing