Speed Dating--TMA Style
Thursday June 2, 2011
Speed Dating—TMA Style
By Mary L. McCarthy
The Daly Group LLC
Social networking was taken to a completely new level on Thursday, April 7, as the Chicago/ Midwest Chapter held its second Power
Networking Event at The Standard Club in Chicago. Sponsored by the Entertainment and Membership Committees, the evening was another overwhelming success as almost 120 business professionals gathered to make new contacts, trade business cards and enjoy cocktails, dinner and lively discussion on an early spring evening. In addition to 75 TMA members and officers, 39 prospective new members attended. Of these, 11 were guests of TMA members.
The format for the evening was designed to mimic a speed-dating environment. However, instead of going home with hot new dates, everyone went home with hot new contacts. The evening began with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. Then, the first of three Power Networking Rounds began during which a three-course dinner consisting of a salad, entrée and dessert was served. Each of the attendees was assigned to a table of eight people and rotated to a different table of eight new people with each successive meal course.
During each cycle a Table Captain facilitated discussion by asking the participants to identify themselves, explain their professions and fill in the blanks on three different questions. The answers to these questions were often amusing and generated more conversation. One question asked: “If I wasn’t a _________ I’d be a __________ because ________.” At one table, lawyers wanted to be writers, lenders preferred to be major league ball players and real estate developers yearned to be ranchers.
By the end of the evening, every participant had accumulated at least 21 business cards and met new and prospective members who might offer future business opportunities in various turnaround or related industries. Many attendees were pleased with the evening and indicated they would be interested in attending a repeat event in the fall.
Volunteers who assisted as Table Captains for the evening were Tessa Bitner, Tom Goldblatt, Gail Heldke, Harold Israel, Sandor Jacobson, Danielle Juhle, Mark Leipold, Theresia Wolf McKenzie, George Mesires, Tom Pabst, Bryan Payne, Mike Roznowski, Joel Schneider, Dan Wikel and Barb Yong. Event organizers included Barb Yong, Chad Peterson, Gail Heldke and Mary McCarthy from the Membership Committee; Tom Goldblatt, Danielle Juhle, Shira Isenberg of the Entertainment Committee; and Sue Fischer and Chris Glatz of the Midwest/Chicago Chapter of TMA.