So last night I attended my first networking event as a blogger. Didn't know what to expect or how they are supposed to work so what you'll get are my honest opinions and impressions of the evening.
First, the venue. The Paramount and State Theaters in Austin are absolute treasures. They are beautiful theaters and something that should absolutely not be missed if you are in Austin.
The volunteers at both theaters are the best!! The ushers (women of grace and maturity) are friendly, knowledgeable, and delightful!! I think they are one of my favorite parts of attending any event at either venue!!
So the event itself. Checking in was not the easiest process. The line was incredibly long and I stood there about 15 minutes just waiting to check in. Thankfully, the desk was inside the State out of the heat, but I can't help thinking there could have been a better way. Perhaps moving check-in to the Paramount with a larger lobby may have made the process easier. Also...it wasn't until you made it all the way up to the desk that you could see there were actually three lines divided by alphabet. It wouldn't have helped...the lobby of the State would not have allowed for three separate lines to form. Especially when the State also held the photographer.
As for the actual networking? I have to say, I didn't really see any. From my observation, everyone attending pretty much stuck with those they came with. I overheard on more than one occasion, people asking what the event was actually for. I guess some people had signed up just because it was a Paramount event, without an actual interest in blogging or social networking. And I have to admit, I'm not the best with strangers and am guilty myself of not putting myself out there.
Over all, I'm calling the event a success. It was an opportunity for me to get my feet wet in the social networking world and I learned what I personally will do different next time. So if this complete stranger walks up to you at the next event...it's me!!