What? Hold Mass Innovation Nights #73 in four different locations? Live stream it via Google Hangouts on-air. Sure, why not?
Well, the reality is, our community wants to talk to each other. They want to "commune." They want to talk live with the person in front of them. They want to touch a product, shake hands with the entrepreneur and give a hug to an old friend.
As an organization, we consider ourselves "social media powered". Every month via our live events and the month long lead-up we generate hundreds, if not thousands of social media mentions for local companies. Sometimes so many that they are shocked and a little scared. (The first social media "amplification" drive usually generates a phone call from the unwary. "My twitter account must have been hacked. All these people are tweeting about me!") But the true differentiator for us is the marriage of live events, friendly community and social media.
So what did we learn (or reinforce) via our 6 year party/experiment? (Some of this is "coulda-told-you-that" stuff.)
- People don't want to watch what's on a screen when there is a live person in front of them.
- The audio in an empty room is very different from audio in a room with full-on networking going
- Not a lot of people event hop in a cold drizzle. ("I'm warm, dry and comfy at the CIC...or Workbar, or Danger!Awesome...or NGIN. I have startups. I have cake. Why should I move?)
We still had a great night. (There was cake.) Saw lots of super cool new products and got to catch up with several of our alumni. Generated lots of visibility for local innovation. Yeah team! To six more years...