Building business face to face

As busy as everyone is twittering and Facebooking, the value of face-to-face still matters, and that's straight from the mouths of the Twitter generation, including Jason Brewer, chief executive of a small advertising, branding firm called  Brolick.

I met Brewer Thursday evening at Portfolio Night, a global event where young advertising copy writers, art directors, designers and photographers in many cities show off their work to agency creative directors. It was really fun -- if you have to work late, there's nothing like doing it in a beautiful high-ceilinged club lounge at Lincoln Financial Field, with nice soaring lines and a plate of wonderful cheeses.  

Brewer was describing an event his company has planned for Monday, May 24. Called Spark, the event will gather 400 innovators, venture capital people and investors at the Hub in the Cira Center, many of whom are paying $75 for a chance to mingle with people with money and perhaps get their businesses funded. 

"The face-to-face thing is so important," Brewer told me. "That's how you build business."

When I mentioned that Rotary and Kiwanis clubs served a similar function, Brewer winced. Not hip.

In a way, I guess, these events, like Spark and Portfolio Night, are more direct: Networking with a capital "N."

In the case of Rotary and Kiwanis, the idea is that business people gather, network, and also create fund raising opportunities to benefit the community. Those fund raising opportunities essentially serve as auditions. The people who perform well in the various fund raising and club committees legitimately attract and deserve the attention of their fellow club members who may be in a position to direct business to them or hire them.