The other week I decided to do something very brave and out of character. I decided to put myself in a room with some complete strangers and force myself to network.
“But surely that’s what you do at Band of Bakers” I hear you cry. But that’s different, as at least we have baking in common to talk about.
Randomly this was a techy networking event called Silicon Drinkabout, and apart from a Digital Media degree from 2002, my superb social media skills and “crappy” (husband’s words not mine!) online gaming that’s about as techy as I get!
So what made me put myself in this awkward situation? Two words Mind Candy. I love what these guys have done with their online game Moshi Monsters, particularly with their consumer products and licensing program that has stemmed from the success of the game.
Coming from a licensing and product development background myself it’s great to see how a start up IP has gained momentum and is being marketed so well and that is just in the UK, so far!
Plus I was very intrigued to see their offices as apparently it had a slide!
Mind Candy has been voted one of the best employees in London and have employed over 100 people in the last 12 months, and hosting the Drinkabout is just one of many ways they look to recruit new (mainly) techy staff.
The Drinkabout is actually organised by a group called the 3beards, they do indeed have beards. It was through twitter that I found out about this gathering at Mind Candy’s new HQ near Old Street.
I tweeted Silicon Drinkabout with my concerns that maybe I wasn’t techy enough, but they instantly replied saying ‘all were welcome’.
What further encouragement did I need? Errr? Actually courage!
This came in the form of another random tweeter who wanted to rock up and have a nosey at the new offices (you know who you are!). So after checking she wasn’t a murderer, I.e. check her twitter photo and last few tweets to check they didn’t contain any murderous inclinations, I tweeted to see if she wanted company to crash the event. Luckily she said yes and team ‘Drinkabout crash’ was formed.
Talking to strangers is hard, even harder when you don’t actually work in their field. Most of our conversations lasted a maximum of 10 minutes. The longest conversation was with Jack McCall of Mind Candy. It must be weird having all these random strangers rock up to your work place, but all the Mind Candies seemed to take it in their stride.
The idea behind the Drinkabout is a brilliant one, particularly with the amount of startups we have in London and the Google Campus, there was definitely a lot of investment hunting going on that evening.
My networking skills improved by 100% but more practice is definitely needed, and strangely I felt comfortable around the techies.
Who knows I may even rock up to another in the near future…now where did I store that courage? And that video camera 😉