The latest FastLane networking event was held at Marben Restaurant on July 14, 2009. It was different from most FastLane events as it was held outdoor. The day was nice – a little on the cool side (as the summer in Toronto has been so far), but not too cold. It was actually perfect patio weather.
But good patio weather has its drawbacks – no one wanted to be inside, meaning that the patio was completely packed. At a networking party, you need to be able to move around to speak with as many people as you can. As a result, it was difficult for some people to “mingle.” There would have been more room, had more people used the indoor space, but it seemed that most wanted to be outside, unless they were buying drinks. Also, HiTech Tattoos, the company which engraves cell phones and MP3 players and a regular in all other FastLane events, was nowhere to be seen.
Of course, this month’s event was by no means awful. The outdoor event was a nice change from being cooped up inside, and Marben was a nice change in scenery. The choice of appetizers was also good. At many of the other FastLane events, nibblies were set on a table for attendees to get. At Marben, servers came around with the food. It was also not your typical pita, flatbreads and hummus, but rather, actual appetizers, such as mini tacos. That said, FastLane is supposed to be a networking event and due to the over-crowdedness because of the lack of space, less networking was able to be done this month. It seems that each FastLane session has been getting bigger and bigger. Perhaps organizers should look into larger venues, which can accommodate more people.