A couple of years ago, I tried a networking experiment: booking myself to be in London for 48 hours, and asking people to invite me to meet them in places of their choosing. Lots of people engaged with it, and others followed the adventure on social media with interest.
And it got me thinking that I should try and do something like it again. But finding 48 hours in the midst of various client projects, and family responsibilities isn’t that easy… so I took the most of the opportunity of being in the capital to deliver a bookkeeping workshop for Unltd to come down a little earlier than I might have otherwise, and put word out that I’d be around for an afternoon (6 hours) to see what serendipity LinkedIN might magic up…
And what an enjoyable 6-hour stint it turned out to be:
- Discovering truffle honey with Martin Gilbraith, whilst reflecting on how MeetUp has facilitated UK facilitators to more easily network and support each other;
- Finally meeting Andrea Gamson properly in person (after we’ve missed each other at conferences ad festivals we’ve both spoken at in the past, had several phone calls, and generally stalked each other in social media over the years), and being confused for my namesake, Robert Ashton (although to be fair, our respective beads are probably quite similar to each others’ at the moment…)
- Learning of Roxanne Persaud’s muse, the Maid of Fail, and how a Phd thesis can become like Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy;
- Receiving my first Christmas card of the year from Richard Hull, and over the magic of coffee, creating a new model and format for guest lectures on social enterprise and social entrepreneurship education (although we’ll have to wait until spring 2020 to release it on the world!)
- And finally, making an entrance with Eddie Capstick without having to enter the room (I phoned him from the other side of the window he was sitting in). But his choice of last venue came well equipped for his being the last name on my ‘dance card’ for this 6-hour speed networking dash around Kings Cross.
So – thank you all for the creativity, insight, new experiences, and shared laughs. Hopefully I can find an excuse to do it again before another whole year passes, and also not just in London…