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February 10 2009

How to Get Invited to the Insider Dinner? – Throw It Yourself

Written by / Posted in internet events / 1 Comment

Two years back when I went to Pubcon, I desperately wanted to be on the insider invite list so I could get invited to the insider dinner with the big shots. At any of the internet conferences, there’s a series of private events that you probably won’t even hear about and very few people get invited to. I used to hear about these private parties and small dinners, and wish that I would be one of the people who got invited. I finally figured out how to solve the problem. Throw the dinner yourself.
Saturday, I had dinner with Todd Malicoat, Lauren Vaccarello, Rand Fishkin and Geraldine, Rand’s wife. We all got together, and I was going to take them to a new Mexican place in San Diego, and found out that they already had fish tacos, of which Todd Malicoat is a huge fan, for lunch. So, I talked to the concierge at the Westin and had them recommend a great restaurant, and off we went to Rama Thai Food.

Lauren started getting excited when reading the menu, so I let her along with Rand do most of the ordering.

The dinner was amazing, the crowd was brilliant, my wife, came along, and hilarious, amazing and funny stories exchanged for hours. By the time we’ve gotten up, we’ve been sitting on the table for about 3 hours, and it felt like only 15 minutes have gone by.

The great thing about dinners like this is that you get the chance to really become friends with leaders of the industry. It’s unlikely that you’re going to get the biggest names in the industry to want to come have dinner with you if you haven’t accomplished much yet, but by being a good friend, being helpful, and following the basic rules of being a person, being polite, and being nice, you can slowly gain friendships with people in the industry over time. You may be surprised who will accept your invitation.
One of the big secrets to all of this is keeping secrets. Things get disclosed to every one of these insider dinners that can cause different individuals a lot of effort and a lot of money. So, in order to be invited back a second time or have people be willing to accept the invitation a second time is to learn how to be quiet at the right times, and how to take the information that’s given to you and keep it absolutely private and locked away in a safe place.

The whole game of the insider information reminds me almost of a bunch of james bond type operatives. Little bits of information can cause people to make or lost vast sums of money. Sometimes the really big shots will give you little bits of info to help you in your goals.

Sometimes the big shots can use this info to gain advantage, stop someones action or work together to accomplish some amazing things.

By the way at this particular dinner, nothing got exposed except everyone’s propensity for repeating the same bad jokes over, and over and over again!

I’ve wanted to get to hang out with Rand a bit for a long time. He is one of the nicest, most positive people I have seen in the industry. By the way, if you ever need really high end copywriting done, Geraldine is brilliant with words. Some of the jokes she made were so subtle, so complex, and just fricken ridiculous that it blew me  away!
It’s amazing how when you look at the people at the top of this industry, you’ll consistently find the nicest, friendliest, and smartest people that I’ve ever met anywhere. It’s an industry that tends to reward brilliance, friendship and warmth. More so than in any other industry I’ve ever seen. The people who are on the inside help each other a lot and in fact, it’s very difficult to really be successful online, unless you have a circle of good friends.

  1. SnowBall said on July 16th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Seems like you have a love for really long dinners with really big big shots! It really does seem very strange that so many of the successful people are so nice. I would think the complete opposite. Of course I’m sure the majority of them are pretty stuck up, but you seem to attract the nice and successful ones, dk. Nice and successful people are drawn to other nice and successful people, afterall.

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