Girls were a geekin’ last night in London! The Texas Embassy restaurant hosted yet another geek dinner event – this time focusing on the rarer of the tech sexes: the girlies. There were around forty in attendance and boys were permitted as long as a geek girl extended an invitation. Good system!
I met lots of interesting and fun people, made some potential business contacts, some social contacts and had an all around great time! Organised by Sarah Blow, the evening included one scheduled speaker, Rachel Jones of Instrata, and a few of us were arm-twisted into getting behind the mic as well. Without so much as a topic, I took my 15 minutes in front of the room and demonstrated my knack for pulling words out of my butt when the pressure’s on! I admitted how initially intimidated I was to attend but that even though I’m not a Microsoft geek or a programmer, that I did feel good about the geek skills I do have and that it was a wonderful opportunity for us all to get curious about each other’s black arts. I also waffled about how we are all geeks about something, even if it’s not computer related. For this point, I polled some of the group. Turns out, as I thrust my mic at unsuspecting geek diners, that there were two individuals there who are geeky about cooking – even grinding pepper with a mortar and pestle! Geek cooks! Fab! I also uncovered a male geek who likes interior design, another who is into gardening (via an email confession this morning) and came to the lonely realisation that I was the only geek in the room who loves wind-up toys… Oh well, can’t have it all. 😉
Before speaking, I’d been networking and chatting with a handful of people, but later it felt great to be approached, receiving compliments on my handling of the mic with a confident presence in front of the group. I did get laughs from some of the goofy things I said and although now I’m not sure what came out of my mouth, I guess I did all right at the time. Thanks for the opportunity Sarah! Next time I’ll prepare something to speak about in advance. (Hopefully it will go down at least as well and with more coherence!)
Now a tip for remembering the people you meet at these sorts of events. If you have your own photos from the evening to work from, great. If not, you may need to scan for relevant tags in flickr. My example comes from Katy Pearce‘s flickr shots of last night. (I’m not sure how to accomplish this sort of technique on a PC, but on a Mac it’s so easy.)
Here’s what I did:
(1) Open the relevant photo in Preview and using the cursor, draw a marquee around the person you want to remember. You can move the selection and resize the marquee to suit you. (2) Use the Copy command to add your selection to the clipboard. (3) Create a new vcard in Address Book for your new contact and click on the photo space next to the name. (4) If it’s highlighted, you can then Paste the clipping into the box.
Tada! Now you’ve got a face to go with the name of your new contact. (That’s Cathy in my example above. I also made photo references for Miranda, Sarah and Paul too! :D)