New Voices

As you may know, toward the end of last year, we started thinking about what Innovation Breakfast was and could become.

A little history — Innovation Breakfast is the little cousin of Mass Innovation Nights.  Innovation Nights are a network of free monthly product launch parties and networking events that leverage social media to help promote new products.  Mass Innovation Nights, the Boston region Innovation Nights event series, attracts several hundred attendees every month and generate hundreds of tweets, blog posts, Likes, LinkedIn posts, online pictures and videos.

Innovation Breakfast also started as a monthly event – a breakfast event at IBM featuring a great speaker and time to network.  We kicked off the series with Ron Croen, founder of Nuance Communications and ended the series with Bill Warner, founder of Avid Technology.  Pretty big shoes to fill.

Then we started a weekly, open coffee style drop in.  Sometimes there would be a dozen people, sometimes four.  It varied — some regulars and some new friends.  Some people wanted guidance on inserting themselves into the Boston innovation scene, others were job hunting and others were looking for companies to invest in.  We had what seemed to be medical device and life sciences meetings, and others were focused on architecture.  Pretty diverse.

But really, it ended up being Bobbie’s office hours.  People brought marketing plans to get critiqued.  Or asked about the best way to make a splash at Mass Innovation Nights.  Or just picked her brain to avoid paying her.  (Only semi tongue-in-cheek.  It is a constant problem for consultants — how much do you give away?)

And, as Carlton PR & Marketing heats up, free time has been harder and harder to come by.  Good friends and Innovation Breakfast regulars like local entrepreneur Adam Gent and Dave Cutler (Hire Dave Cutler!) have stepped in, often at the last minute, to guest host.

So what’s next?

Well, we’ve got an idea.  (Never in short supply but time for implementation is always an issue.)

Have you ever noticed that if you spend some time on the events circuit in any given area, how you tend to hear from the same speakers.  As an events coordinator, you tend to draw from the pool of people you’ve seen speak elsewhere.  Those who did a good job or were a known quantity.  You and everyone else who is booking speakers.

Or, do you have a story to tell?  An exciting idea to spread around?  How hard is it to get that story out there?  Pretty hard.  When you see the perfect panel for your story — it’s already full.  Or, you too see the same people speaking at local events.

We want to see if we can open up Innovation Breakfast to some new voices.  Now, it won’t happen right away.  Give us some time to work out the details but if you have a new story to tell or want to nominate a new voice, submit that info through our website and we’ll work on arranging that.  Meanwhile, we’ll keep up the weekly meetings as best we can.  Watch our tweets for updates.

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