I wrote this post prior to the 2014 SEMpdx Rooftop Networking Party and now it is due for an update. Most of the tips have remained the same, but with a few minor (but major) updates (like the event venue). By now SEMpdx’s Rooftop Networking Party has built enough of a reputation for a periphery blog post about it…so here goes:
Top 12 Tips for a Successful SEMpdx Rooftop Networking Party:
1. Go to the Right Rooftop (we are back at Hotel deLuxe!)
Check out the promo video from 2014 courtesy of Bruce Sussman:
2. Dress Your Best
If you are going to wear a company shirt, may I suggest pairing it with a sport coat, Don Johnson style. Remember it could be hot…are you a graphic t-shirt guy, a Hawaiian shirt aficionado, always wear a plaid shirt (as Scott Hendison says I always do) or sun dress wearer? Regardless you may want to keep the following in mind:
- It will likely be pretty warm. You may look good in black, but do you also look good in red (think sunburn).
- You still have time to find the perfect sunglasses and/or sun hat (or SEMpdx Trucker Hat like David Mihm).
Look your best! This event has been featured on KGW’s Live @7 several times. You never know, you might get on TV, so you’d better dress to impress!
- Need tips, check out Rand’s 5 Fashion Hacks for the Modern Male Marketer (I think the ladies tend to have it figured out and don’t need any advice…certainly not from me at least).
3. Don’t Expect a Band
We had a band one year (2010 I believe), it was a great band (Donerail…well maybe not that great since they are no longer) featuring search marketing industry players…however, we learned this event is about the people attending and went back to a background DJ. We still keep the music in the marketing family with Jonas Healy providing the groove that last three years!
4. It is NOT a Dinner Party
Yes, there will be food and yes you can make dinner out of the food that is provided…however at $20, including drinks (at least two depending on what you are drinking thanks to sponsor The Growler Guys), don’t expect a five course dinner. Make friends and go to dinner with them afterward. Heck, use Yelp Portland to find a space, they are sponsoring this year!
5. If You Need a Job, Get a Job!
Several job seekers have landed careers (not just jobs) at the Rooftop Networking Party. One of them, Robert Frost, just joined the SEMpdx Board of Directors. He got his job at EngineWorks (which was then acquired by ethology, who has sponsored the event each year in some capacity) as a direct result of meeting people at this event. Say hi to Robert (see #9 below), I doubt he’s missed a Rooftop since. Agencies (as well as in-house positions) are hiring.
6. Bring Your Business Cards
They may be passé, buy you can win prizes! Even though many digital marketers are so over business cards, bring em! You will want to drop them in the bowl for a chance to win a variety of prizes from the party sponsors (including a ticket to 2016 Engage Conference) and many owners/managers expect you to still have one (see #5 above).
7. Take the Stairs?
Will you get stuck in the elevator? Probably not. Do you want to get stuck in the elevator? Probably not. However, if you want to take the risk it would be fun anyway, just take event sponsor Webfor‘s word for it: Stuck In An Elevator And Other Adventures In Team Building.
8. Do Expect Good Beer
9. Buddy Up with SEMpdx Board (they always have extra drink tickets)
It’s a friendly group and they would love to tell you about SEMpdx and the monthly educational events we host, and Engage, and our Charity of Choice program…the best late night happy hours places near by…but maybe more importantly, they tend to always have extra drink tickets.
10. Support the Sponsors
Seriously, it is $20 (unless you foolishly wait), we wouldn’t be able to have ticket prices this low without sponsors. They also kick in great door prizes, provide some shade with their tents and have great products and services. That one extra sale or ‘thank you’ from an attendee may make the difference to sponsor again. Moz is the presenting sponsor again, The Growler Guys is bringing the beer, Snap Yourself has the photo booth, Vacasa, Logical Position and Three Rivers Winery are Gold Sponsors. Webfor, Ethology, Tricor Brand Communications, Avenue, AMA PDX, Portland Business Alliance, and Oregonian Media Group are sponsoring too!
11. Learn Who the Charity Is
10% of all proceeds from SEMpdx events go to our Charity of Choice. We have had some worthy partners over the years and the Rooftop Networking Party has been a nice venue to get them some exposure and do even more good. Specifically, we’ve helped raffle of a Mini for the Children’s Cancer Association and collected 100’s of winter coats for the Portland Police Sunshine Division. Last year we helped the Brody Borlaug Foundation and this year look for our new charity Reading Results!
12. Get Your Tickets Early
So what are you waiting for? Even though event capacity is up, the party is sure to sell-out. Plus ticket prices go up on August 3rd.
I hope to see you all there in
2014 2016 and years to come!
Featured image courtesy of Nina Johnson Photography.