Kick Back and Freshen Up

Five months ago I wrote about the very first Refresh the Triangle meeting, which we hosted in our Durham office. Last night was another "first" for Refresh, and I’m pleased to report that it was a smashing success. Contrary to our previous four meetings, last night’s event was not planned around a designated speaker. Instead, we asked everyone to come ready to kick back and freshen up. It was our first social “show and tell” meeting. We weren’t sure how it would go over. Initial indicators were not promising – I heard from three people that open-ended meetings tend to be awkward. Nonetheless, it was well attended, energetic, and quite informative. Check out Peyton’s recap, complete with links to the great stuff shared by attendees. Why did the meeting go so well? How did we escape the social awkwardness we feared? I think there were three factors that made it work:
  • Inspiring space. Ogivly Durham sponsored this month’s meeting and its office is inspirational. It was a very creative, energizing environment for people to gather.
  • Old friends. This was our fifth meeting and it was apparent that friendships have formed. People are coming to connect with folks they’ve talked to previously and to strengthen the bonds beyond Twitter-following.
  • “Great minds.” One of the core pieces to the Refresh Manifesto is to “gather great minds.” Last night convinced me that we have indeed tapped into some of the Triangle’s best, brightest, and most talented web professionals. This is probably the biggest factor in why the meeting was successful – smart people came, shared, and benefited.
I think last night was a milestone in the growth of Refresh as a vibrant, sustainable group, and it proved to me once again that the Triangle is a fun place to be in the web business. It looks like we’re not the only people to come to that conclusion.

Emily is Viget's people director, hailing from our Durham, NC, office. She specializes in heart-to-hearts and asking questions that don’t have concrete answers.

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