I was invited to a dinner earlier this month that was billed as a secret. I didn’t know the person who was hosting it, where it would be held (beyond somewhere in New York City), what would be on the menu, or who else would be there.
Of course, I accepted the invite. And now that I survived it, I can spill all of its secrets.
Talia Turgeman founded Secret Dinner as a way to connect people around a given theme with a sponsor attached, but it had a different flavor to it than other dinners that I’ve been to – even exclusive, curated ones. Here are a few things I learned from Talia and her gathering:
1) Embrace mystery. Sure, when Classmates.com invited me to dinner at Per Se years ago, I accepted because of the venue. For this event though, I had to accept that I wouldn’t know much about the venue or location. I don’t think I even knew the sponsor at first. The best part is that from the outset, I knew I’d be dining with people who’d have this open-minded approach. Anyone else who’d accept such an invite with so little info going into it is precisely the kind of person I want to break bread with.
2) Get creative with the venue. In this case, the venue was an apartment building that is listed with a major brokerage firm, and the broker got to make a quick pitch to dinner guests. There are still some final touches being put on the building’s construction. The surprising choice added to the appeal. A private chef and her team prepared the cuisine, taking into account any dietary needs. It’s another way to do something different and memorable.
3) Go outside your first degree. I was surprised that none of the guests seemed to know Talia in advance. She was taking a chance on everyone too as she looked for the right matches for her dinner. My default is to always start with reaching out to who I know, and I applaud the boldness of someone who starts with who she doesn’t know.
4) Start personal, then go professional. When we got to the building, we were led to the rooftop for drinks and instructed not to talk business. No company names were offered until we sat down later. We had time to get to know our peers outside of a work context, even if work-related conversations were unavoidable.
5) Go from physical to digital. Similar in a way to how LDV does their community functions, the Secret Dinner guests were invited to join a digital community after the meal ended. I go the reverse route with Serial Marketers and will keep doing so; many people from the community have built up relationships digitally and then connected in person. But Talia’s approach was another welcome twist. Your membership in the digital club is contingent on you showing up for real first. Talia and I might take opposite approaches, but our goals are similar.
I love discovering new ways that entrepreneurs and community organizers are bringing people together. Thanks so much to Talia for the inspiration (and a pretty decent meal too). What are other ways you’ve seen people bring others together? And what are you making of yourself?
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SCORPIOS ATTACK LIBRA
Facebook is inviting so much skepticism around the launch of this new cryptocurrency even as Facebook’s biggest selling point seems to be that they are just one small part of it. Some more trustworthy organizations may be shields here, but only because Visa and Lyft seem so angelic by comparison. As I’m a little slow and backlogged to read everything about this, here are two pieces by TechCrunch that cover it tremendously: a detailed overview, and a guide to one of the worst-case scenarios that could unfold.
DEATH’S FAKE NEWS PROBLEM
In one of the better visualizations I’ve seen lately, causes of death are tabulated alongside media mentions and Google searches. Not surprisingly, there are a few discrepancies.
ABCs of ABM
Account-based marketing remains a vibrant marketing buzzword. Terminus tells you all the related terms you need to know.
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July 31-August 1
CommerceNext, the summit for next level customer acquisition (and one of the best events I’ve ever sponsored), is coming back to NYC. The 700+ person conference will have 80+ speakers from leading retailers, DTC brands and innovative tech companies. Speakers include Purple, TechStyle, Victoria’s Secret, Men’s Warehouse, Bonobos, Casper and more! Learn more:
ANA DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA
The 2019 ANA Digital & Social Media Conference is July 24-26th at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Check out this agenda including top marketers from Target, Domino’s, American Express, Sephora, Bayer, Organic Valley, MGM Resorts and more.