Tuesday night is the second Media Leaders event being held in Raleigh. The first one held back in January was great and I expect this one to be just as good. The question for some people is, “is it worth paying for?”
It’s an interesting question, free has taken on a life of its own in the social media age. It’s a question that I and the other organizers wrestle with. In the final analysis it comes down to the question of how much do you value an opportunity to meet and socialize with friends, peers and mentors in your industry and community.
For me, if I want to just hang out with my peers at a tweetup, that’s always available to me for free. I have very low expectations of such an event to actually make an impact on my life. It’s just fun to see all my friends.
If I want to see my business peers and maybe take it up a notch, then I would try to see who else in my industry is attending Chuck Hester‘s LinkedIn Live event. I know Chuck spends a lot of time getting those ready and offsets the cost by having companies sponsor the event.
We think of Media Leaders as a slightly different concept. We aim to make the event equally useful for C-level executives and entry-level evangelists. There’s not a lot of interruptions or music or food, it’s aimed at letting people connect.
There’s not a lot of places where someone just starting out can bump into a true leaders like Media Two‘s CEO Michael Hubbard , Brooks Bell Interactive‘s Founder and President Brooks Bell or ShareFile‘s CEO Jesse Lipson. Not only can you talk to them, you have a pretty good chance of winning the drawing, which is a lunch with them where you can pick their brains! Spending an hour with such smart and successful people could actually change your life. Maybe they give you a new idea, or tell you the crazy idea you have is brilliant (or terrible), and maybe there’s some real synergy and they want to work with you on something. It’s the opportunity to make the connection that’s important.
But what if you don’t win the free lunch? Everyone attending the first event seemed to be in the perfect mood. Because it was a straight-up networking event, everyone chatted and met a lot of new people. Use the event to meet a competitor, talk to someone who is hiring or a company you’ve always wanted to ally with.
I’ve been cutting back on time I’m spending attending social events to only include the ones I feel have real value for me. This is one that meets that criteria. If you’re attending just to hang out in the corner with your close friends, you’re missing the true value of the event.
Photo from: Brian McDonald