Social Media Breakfast Holiday Party Recap 2010

This post will also appear on the socialmediabreakfast.com blog. A new site is being launched in there in the next couple of days, thus the group’s founder Bryan Person has asked we refrain from posting new material to the old web property.

See additional party pix at in our FB Album.

I’m sitting down to write this post a little over a week after our first ever Social Media Breakfast Montreal Holiday Cocktail ( a mouthful I know…) took place.

Andrew, Luis, and Mike of KAI Design were kind enough to co-host the affair with Neteyecon in their centrally located and super chic studio. Over 50 people were expected at the event, and although we never took an official head count, over the course of the night somewhere close to that number may well have made their way in and out. Why not right? Free food, free booze. Heck, if I were trudging through the snow on my way home from work and known such an event was taking place I would have stumbled in whether I knew anyone or not.

A good time seemed to have been had by all, and as usual, chef Dana Elsliger of La Bistrote did not disappoint with her selections of cheeses, dips, and deli-style sandwiches. If you are ever in the neighborhood down by Guy and Notre-Dame, do yourself a favor and pop in for lunch. My other brother (from the same mother) Mike, was kind enough to organize that his buddy Paul Starnino come in and spin some tracks for us as well, which I think served as the perfect element to fill awkward silences if in fact any took place.

Andrew and the guys from KAI also went to the trouble of preparing two awesome gift baskets containing all sorts of goodies, and one lucky winner also walked away with an iPod. All of these prizes award to randomly drawn tickets from a raffle for which tickets were sold earlier during the event.

La Bistrote Selection

The most interesting parts of the event for me though had to be some of the conversations I managed to drum up with invited guests.You’d think after having organized 5 breakfasts and now I party I would have had a chance to chat with folks and develop a few relationships, but the truth is, the events themselves are a blur. Tons of people in a small space, some if not the majority running late (including me), and speakers who barely have the time to present and take questions..etc. I hardly speak to anyone save for the speakers.

Maybe it’s the party atmosphere (and free food and booze) that had people opening up a bit more and getting a little chattier, but I took more out of this night than all of the breakfasts in terms of concrete one-on-one’s you just can’t get in the breakfast event setting.

Andrew, Nat and Luis

I got in a few minutes talking to Fabrice Calando who blogs at fabricecalando.com and who also works as a marketing manager for TIMC.ca. Incidentally, Fabrice will be presenting at our January breakfast and getting into some greater detail with respect to LinkedIn that I think a lot of folks serve to gain much from, like Micheline Bourque for example, who I’d also had a chance to speak with and seemed quite excited with the idea of LinkedIn as a topic at our next SMB. She runs her own marketing firm (Marketing sur mesure), and told us how while she has a working knowledge of LinkedIn, she’d serve her clients better by knowing even more (me too!!). Fabrice’s prezo should do that and then some…some homework maybe?

Chillin’

Testament once again to the raison d’etre of the event, Social Media, and the social networking aspects of the web seemed to have been hard at work in getting two people with whom I’d had discussions out to the event. Laurence Isaac, owner of ngrfit.com

NGRFit.com

(still waiting for my fitting appointment Laurence…), a manufacturer of weighted shoes which claim to increase cardiovascular activity by up to 50%, showed up at the event because of a 3rd party Facebook invite. My brother James was introduced via a mutual friend, and upon Laurence’s arrival and subsequent meetup with Jamie, by the time I’d found my way to the two of them, they were immersed in convo that indicated to me they’d known each other for years. I only found out the day after that was the first time my brother had actually met him. Awesome dude. You should support him.

And perhaps the most intriguing conversation I had of the night was with a woman named Mona Saheli. Mona is a jewelery designer.

Designed by Mona Salehi

Fascinating right? Well, were it to end (or begin) there, it wouldn’t sound all that scintillating now would it? And if I told you she was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, a computer engineer by trade who abandoned that career, moved to Thailand, then to London (oh, and became a gemologist somewhere in there..), and then to Montreal cause she heard we appreciate art/artists and that she loves French??? Well, there you have it. She found a flat, and is currently renting space with the machinery needed to pump out her product, looking to make her mark on the world. Steadfast and passionate, no one I know would doubt this woman’s conviction – and I told her right there and then that I knew success (insert definition) was on the horizon for her. She had after all found the event on meetup.com, and made her way down not knowing anyone and never having attended a previous breakfast. I mean, I was excited listening to her tell me about her story. Please join me in welcoming her to the SMBMTL fold..

Designed by Mona Salehi

And I think that’s the key. It’s definitely one of the reasons why I’ve grown to love this community/network that continues to grow. Whether employee or owner, everyone seems to take ownership in their role as contributor – and so too shall we.

Designed by Mona Salehi

I’ve attached some photos of Mona’s artwork. She can be reached by Email until such time her website is up and running. It’s probably not too late to pick up something really special for that hard to buy loved one.

Designed by Mona Salehi

And last but certainly not least, I had the pleasure of talking to (and being interviewed by) Brian Rotsztein and Tom Hartman of CitynetMagazine.com. These guys are up to all sorts. Brian has even expressed interest in presenting at a future SMB so we’ll be staying in touch, which is great.

Tell me whether you met anyone at the event you hadn’t known previously and formed a connection with. I’d be curious to learn if adding a few parties with free booze and food to the #SMBMTL calendar wouldn’t positively impact the event has on collaboration and networking…

Thanks to all for coming and Happy Holidays!

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