As our gracious hosts welcomed us into their chic downtown office, engaging discussions with gregarious attendees made this networking event a night to remember. Overlooking The Gaslamp Quarter at 7th and J Street in the East Village, the space was stylish, expansive, modern. A steel Design Studio emblem and a sleek overhead map of America’s Finest City adorned the minimalist entrance-way.
The former Uber office space held rows of top-end digital workstations, giving way to an inviting lounge area filled with premium refreshments and a convivial crowd. An open bar was fully stocked with top-shelf libations. The ice chest overflowed with local craft beers for which San Diego is now famous. Bar Basic provided gourmet thin-crust pizza on par with the best you’ll find anywhere in the city. Last week’s “Digital Industry Mixer” was Design Studio’s first networking event for digital professionals. The relaxed atmosphere and captivating communication made us hope for many more.
Despite the elegant ambiance and top-class refreshments, this professional networking event was warmly welcoming with a fun, casual vibe. We were immediately greeted by friendly members of the DesignStudio Network team and made to feel right at home. Some attendees broke bread together in the cozy dining area. Others were busy moving about the room, introducing themselves to everyone and socializing with the various smaller groups. The avant-garde atmosphere and diverse crowd made for a distinctively inclusive experience.
A few freelancers spent time relaxing on comfortable couches and took in the views of the city. Others spent time enjoying the unique, handcrafted mural depicting life in the digital age. On the other side of the office, one online marketing expert spent time demonstrating his impressive skills to others on a crystal-clear widescreen desktop. In the meantime, I had the pleasure of meeting a Graphic Designer who was new to the area. We exchanged tales of business, local recommendations, and contact information for future collaboration. There were photographers, web developers, and several freelance professionals in attendance. This social networking event was defined by a varied group from different industries freely sharing their time, expertise, and ideas.
The inclusive nature of the Digital Industry Mixer was amplified by the low-pressure quality of the evening. For a business networking event, it was surprisingly easy to meet new people, make connections, and have a good time. In stark contrast to strong contact networking, this event for digital professionals wasn’t intimidating, confining, or too formal. It didn’t feel forced. Despite the recent unveiling of the DesignStudio Freelance Network beta for digital and creative professionals, there was no obligatory speech. This was a driving factor behind the networking event, allowing freelancers to meet and learn about a premium digital space for new business. However, there was no sales pitch.
This networking event was about the people, the ideas, the spirit of collaboration. I had the pleasure of speaking with DesignStudio founder and CEO Anthony Matiya during the evening. New and exciting things are on the horizon for this agency, the coworking space, and the premium freelancer network as well. I inquired as to why there was no speech or announcement for these new developments. He responded with an earnest and candid response, explaining that these factors may have spurred the networking event, but a sales pitch just isn’t their style.
The Digital Industry Mixer was organized for San Diego professionals to come together in collaboration, not to sell a product or service. This is why the networking event was such an enjoyable and successful occasion. We conversed and engaged each other in a natural way. Nothing forced, nothing sold. Just a fantastic evening in celebration of cooperation, entrepreneurship, and professional partnership. Here’s to many more.
Interested in attending a future networking event in sunny San Diego? Please contact the friendly DesignStudio team anytime.