Some of the best events are those without an agenda. That was true about the fifth Raleigh Media Leaders networking event at recently-opened Spy Raleigh nightclub on July 12, and it was true about the post-event Prize Lunch at the brand new Joel Lane’s Public House restaurant on August 3, 2011. Mark your calendar now for November 8.
A Different Kind of Event. A Different Kind of Door Prize.
As Phil Buckley has shared before, Raleigh Media Leaders is an atypical networking event — without speakers, without sponsor tables, and without traditional door prizes. Our only agenda is to bring together people from marketing, media, public relations, and related fields — meeting new people and re-connecting with old friends. As I’ve shared before, it’s indirectly how I got my job at Coalmarch. We had 177 people pre-register this time, plus a number of walkups.
Our unique ‘door prize’ is that three randomly-selected attendees get to “do lunch” with three leaders in marketing and media. The idea is that they’ll have an opportunity to connect up-close-and-personal with local marketing and media leaders they might not normally have easy access to under regular circumstances. Leaders from the past events’ lunches have included Karen Albritton of Capstrat, Brooks Bell of Brooks Bell Interactive, Michael Hubbard of Media Two Interactive, and Jesse Lipson of ShareFile.
This event’s prize winners were Barbara Maloney, Ellen Lynch, and Jenna Gengler. The three lunch “prizes” were Jeff Tippett of Calvert Creative, John Lane of Centerline Digital, and Mike Williams of the News & Observer‘s Triangle.com. Phil was there to moderate and I was there to document everything.
Secret Surprise Lunch: Sneak Preview at Joel Lane’s Public House
To keep things exciting, we didn’t tell the lunch participants where they’d be going for lunch, other than that it was going to be a surprise, and that we’d provide transportation. After everyone met in front of Isaac Hunter’s on Fayetteville Street, we managed to maintain the veil of secrecy until the van turned onto Glenwood Ave.
Joel Lane’s Public House generously agreed to donate lunch from a special preview menu, before the restaurant’s official opening in mid-August. The grilled cheese was delicious, and the steak sandwich looked pretty tempting. And the cheese fondue dipping sauce was perfect with the crispy tater tots. You can find the official menu at JoelLanes.com.
Lunch Topics: From Job Search Tips to the $800 New BMW
Lunch topics ranged from job search tips to Raleigh’s mayoral race, and from marketing trends to how trade show exhibitors can afford to give away a $45,000 BMW (answer: they buy an $800 insurance policy against someone sinking a winning shot on the booth’s faux putting green).
I tried to think of a theme later and there really wasn’t one — that variety kept things interesting.
Attentive service, delicious food, good company, and great conversation — what’s not to like?
Thank You to Our Sponsors, Volunteers, and Organizers
Thanks to Zack Medford and his partners for donating lunch at Joel Lane’s Public House and for donating transportation to/from Isaac Hunter’s Oak City Tavern. You can find Joel Lane’s at 410 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 350, Raleigh, NC 27603; 919-386-9935; and @JoelLanes. Don’t like parallel parking on Glenwood South? There’s a parking lot!
Thanks to Jeff Tippett, John Lane, and Mike Williams for sharing their time and their expertise. And thanks again to my fellow members of the organizing committee — Brian McDonald, Meg Crawford, Phil Buckley, and Rachel Healy — for holding another successful Raleigh Media Leaders event.
Mark Your Calendar Now for November 8, 2011
Want to come to the next new and improved media leader networking event in Raleigh? Sign up now for Tuesday, November 8 (also Election Day) from 7pm to 10pm, and follow @1918 on Twitter. You can’t miss it.
Who’d you like to see as a lunch “prize” for the next event?
Image credits: Karl Sakas