FastLane Networking Event – July 29, 2008

Cynthia Cheng

FastLane, a networking organization targeting young professionals between 25 and 40, held its fourth networking event at Toronto’s Spoke Club on Tuesday, July 29. The event, held at the club’s patio was very well-attended, with people from many different industries, especially those from the creative and promotional industries, such as event planners, designers and photographers. Also in attendance was a contingent from the Canadian German Chamber of Commerce.

This month’s event was partnered with ideaNation, a not-for-profit organization registered with the Canadian government run by volunteers, for volunteers. They believe that everyone can make a positive impact in their communities. They are there to act as a “helping hand,” with a mission to “inspire, connect, and support people who want to make a difference by developing community projects that support social change.” One of the projects ideaNation helping with is MS Climb, an organization which is raising money for MS by climbing Macchu Pichu in Central Peru. Proceeds from the silent auction at the FastLane event are going to their mission.

In addition, attendees had the opportunity to have their cell phones or mp3 players etched by an organization called Hitech Tattoos. Hitech Tattoos can personalize just about any gadget, including laptops, and there are plenty of images to choose from. In addition to their library, companies can also etch their own logos, giving company-owned PDAs or laptops a corporate identity. Generally, the engravings cost between $20 and $120, depending on the size of gadget. For example, an iPod Shuffle will cost much less than a laptop.

FastLane events are a great way for people to network and perhaps build their businesses. In the two hours I was there, I got over 30 business cards. However, if I could be critical, I think the patio at the Spoke Club just wasn’t big enough for this well-attended event. It did not allow people to truly mingle around. Otherwise, I could have made even more contacts.