Fearing 45 miles in 5 o'clock traffic, I left work a little early to go to the Women 2.0 Mixer and Bookswap. After finding parking ($10 - ouch) and grabbing dinner at a great Indian restaurant where I had the BEST chai ever, I found the door of 425 2nd street and, after repeated tries to coordinate code punching with door buzzer, got in.
It was my first event with the Women 2.0 group and, jazzed about the entrepreneurship, business and technology focus, yet leary of the elevator given my door experience, I took the low-tech option and bounded up the 3 flights of stairs.
After checkin and name badge, next was training on the "rules". It was a bookswap after all. My mental picture had been of a table where everybody dropped their book and we could all browse through. But no, this was an entrepreneurship organization and this experience was going to embody that.
You kept your book in hand, held in front of you with title out to advertise. You introduced yourself to someone, my first was Nina, a graphic designer whose business is called "Iamtheitgirl", and pitched your respective books. If there was a meeting of needs, then you swapped. To ease the pain of swapper's remorse, you could swap as many times as you could find a willing partner.
It was pitching practice in disguise! There was no free lunch! Everyone had to be a participant.
I ended up trading with Andi, whose business advising late adopters of technology is called "The Go To Girl", my Confessions of an Economic Hitman for a recent edition of Facebook Marketing. What a swap! Her husband was interested in critical views of development and I was interested in learning more about Facebook.
It was just a book swap but it really turned me on to the idea of pitching and defanged it for me. What a WOW powerful experience!