A Few Quiet Yarns hits Auckland tonight
A Few Quiet Yarns is a monthly IT based event with a distinct New Zealand feel to it - totally informal and laid back it attracts 40-70 attendees until tonight's event, however, which is tipping the scales at 140+ and expected to grow.
Heck even the team running the big Tech Event is coming before heading off to their Fest at the Cloud; and so is every other "man and his smartphone" (dogs not permitted at Bungalow 8, unless guide dogs).
So why is it so popular? Why do people attend in their own time when they could be at home enjoying a hot dinner? I put it down to a range of reasons starting with the scene I set; "no fees, no speeches*, no sponsors, no hard sell".
Simply, if people are giving up their time, they don't want to be annoyed or harassed by the "super-salesperson" who goes from person to person handing out their card being "super-annoying". My tip is only get a card out of your pocket if you get asked for it, thats a pretty sure sign they want to talk in private, so you've pre-qualified the value already.
Secondly, like the old TV program "Cheers", if "you wanna go where everybody knows your name" and everyone does get to know everyones name, because I introduce everyone - literally.
I call for attention and do a full round of introductions with the point being, if you want to know who is in the room and wish to talk to that person, then you can, I break down that barrier straight away.
Talking about barrier-breaking, for those I know well, I drop in a bit of humour and pull the odd stunt, just to provide a commonality for all that is like having a party at home with mates. This typically gets the conversation flowing as people only need the slightest of pushes and then they're away laughing.
Thirdly, Linked In or professional (social) media is a tool I use implicitly for making connections, sales, answering questions, making public announcements, running events, running groups, polls, you name it I do it all - so I find it easy to invite people to an event and use some old techniques form my Hospitality background of running events.
No one wants to be the first in the 'room', so I invite key people who I know well enough to build the core group, before going public and hitting the 50 odd Linked In groups (that is the max if you haven't found that out yet), which some of you will have seen. I quip that this is "social networking in realtime, aka, going down to the pub for a few quiets!"
Located in a good venue, which puts on food plus happy hour prices, again suits us Kiwi's, with a traffic and parking conscious setting which helps people attend.
Thanks to Martin from Bungalow 8 for such a good venue. Also, good mates, and there are many who deserve a mention that have helped in large or small ways, that it would be dangerous to try and name you all. Without the input and attendance of each and everyone of you it wouldn't have worked - who would purely want to come to talk to me? But everyone comes to talk to somebody and I'd like to thank everyone who has attended as that is the key reason, people come to talk to people, to be social, to hear your story, to share yours.
So I hope to see a lot more new faces and I hope to hear your story sometime.
The crux of it is, if you get on well socially, you are lot more likely to want to do business, or help them out by connecting them to you own contacts.
For event details please click here
*There will be a slight change to that rule, but not a speech, a group discussion/debate, about what you'll have to come to find out what the subject is, but don't be surprised if it is about connectivity.
A Few Quiet Yarns: 6-8pm September 6 at Bungalow 8 Viaduct, Auckland.