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The First Social Mark”eating” Dinner – what really happened

June 14, 2011

So, more details about the inaugural Social Markeating dinner.  As I mentioned, it was a total success (in my humble opinion).  New friends were made and we all felt the value in the face to face connection.  But what did it really take to make it happen…

I chose the Social Markeating…for singles experience.   I then chose the date before I even began to contact anyone.  I made phone calls, using my favorite – voice inflection, to begin the inviting process.  Once I had a verbal commitment I then put together an online invitation on Punchbowl which was a fun way to have people RSVP and begin dialogue before we all actually met.

I planned to do this with my wonderful new friend who is helping with the Social Markeating project and she was going to invite 2 single male friends. I had another 2 friends -one guy, one girl.  This was going to be the perfect group of 3 men/3 women.  All was going s0 smoothly.  The reality was the challenge in actually getting 6 single people.  I suppose if we had a surplus we wouldn’t be single. 🙂   She was only able to get one single guy.  My single guy was unable to attend.  My other girlfriend was able to bring a friend.  So in the end we had 5.  Funny that the first gathering was short one guest but that shows the reality of life.  5 still made for a perfect number.  It was nice sharing one conversation and I believe any more than 6 people would be to easy to break into 2 groups.

The dinner was set for my home.  I asked guests to bring a drink to share and I would provide everything else.

Look at those genuine smiles

The wonderful group that attended (left to right):
Brian – a photographer whom I had never met.  I checked out his work after the dinner and was blown away.
Me (Marci) –  still getting to know myself but meeting a wonderful group like this can only make me shine!
Lisa – my dear friend and a real estate agent with a zest for life that is unmatched.  Truly sunshine in my life.
Jennifer – my professional coach whom I had never met in person and only spoke with twice on the phone.  She will knock your socks off, in a wonderful way!
Sharif
  – vice president of a local bank whom I had met briefly on a volunteer committee.  Every time he spoke a gem came out of his mouth!  He had amazing business ideas and was so thoughtful about life.

Of course the first to arrive were the people I did not know, but isn’t that the point?  We all went on the patio for wine and appetizers and there was never a dull, awkward moment and from my viewpoint each of us learning a little more about life.  After an hour or so I invited everyone around the table.  It had only been a short time and yet you could feel the comfort level increasing as we shared a great family style dinner.  The wine was flowing and so was the conversation.

The point of my Social Markeating…for singles was simply to expand my network of friends and not a set up (feel free to plan yours any way you want :)).  With all of us at the same point in our lives the conversation turned to men and women, the differences,  the simplicity we all crave,  each of us sharing a bit of our history.  Deeper and deeper we went, even showing vulnerability and being able to read facial expressions and body language.  Something you will never get online.  There were a few moments I simply sat back and could not help smiling at these “strangers” sharing and enjoying with one another so freely.

More fortune cookies were opened (see previous post) and mine read “your efforts will be worthwhile”.  Again, I feel like no one will believe me as it seems to crazy to be true.   My only guess is that I tapped into the universe last year and I gotta say when she talks you should listen!

Nearing the end of the evening everyone pulled out there “Social Markeating” table cards I had placed under each place setting. (I promise to have a link for your to download your own in the next couple of days-sign up, top left, so you don’t miss it!)  These are a call to action for my guests and yours to go forward with the idea.  Spread this human connection in the world.  They all helped me fine tune it, add a few items and for the most part were simply excited to fill it out and get going on planning their own.

My favorite part of the evening was when it was brought up that we needed to get together again. That we had spent the first half of the evening getting to know one another and the second half enjoying one another’s company and we didn’t want it to end.  We made plans to get together again!  5 people who hours earlier had never met simply could not imagine not getting together again (I think I just teared up, seriously).  Human connection is that strong.

I have to thank Jennifer, Lisa, Sharif and Brian for joining me on this journey and being so supportive.  There enthusiasm has only fed mine and I know we have all created something wonderful.

Please join me in my quest to bring people back together.  It is even easier now with online tools to help you reach people you would not have been able to before, find a million recipes or restaurants online to help you plan, and online invitations – use them all – but in the end make a plan to sit face to face with someone.  I know you will be amazed and rewarded.  I was.

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