About one year ago, I had attended this networking event at the Wave Accounting office in downtown Toronto. I didn’t know what to expect and like any good networker, went with no one. I was in a room of complete strangers but because everyone was already paired it was hard to talk to the interesting people.
It did yield one great resource which was awareness of the Hacking Health program which at the time was also in its infancy. More on that in a followup post.
Ultimately I met a lot of people but did not gain as much then. Only 150 people attended that meet up event.
This year, the Meetup in Toronto more than doubled and became an international movement. Due to its popularity, I had to change my strategy. I became more of a talker who was able to get into conversations. As the only Designer it was a great place to be. Working the room was a breeze.
Much of the business-scape has radically changed, even in the past year, with the growth in entrepreneurial endeavors. Many who attended were developers working for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and for some odd reason, lawyers. The room was prime with people spreading word about their product and those who were looking for new opportunities but it becomes difficult to pitch to others who are in the same boat or not interested in what you have to say.
Despite these challenges, everyone was very friendly and I learned a lot about the state of the industry and the types of innovative projects happening now. I feel the need to push myself to do better to meet the future challenges head on. The energy tonight from the people I met was very invigorating and inspiring.
For anyone who is interested in attending the event, be warned that everyone will be speaking loudly. Expect an informal event with lots of mingling and milling people. Bring business cards and have something to say, otherwise it makes for awkward conversation. It can be intimidating to approach someone you don’t know but once you get in, all are friendly.
All in all, a great event that I fully recommend. I will definitely try to make it out to these more.
Find out more about Hackernest at www.hackernest.com.