While many cities have a Chamber of Commerce to help insulate and improve the local business market, I have always gotten the feeling that the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce was an extra good fortune for those who choose Ann Arbor as their business home. Last week I attended my first Chamber of Commerce year end event, and was overly impressed with the quality of the party.
As far as I could gather, the event was just a basic “thank you, have fun, happy holidays.” By attending you received two drink tickets, access to great food from local business restaurants, and access to a room stuffed nearly elbow to elbow full of locals.
I would say that everyone goes to network and run into old friends, colleges, and clients, but that seems too formal. The atmosphere was much more open, free spirited, and easy going. There seemed to be no hard or juxtaposed feelings regardless of age, ethnicity, industry, or gender.
While I don’t think I met any potential clients at the party (which was my original intention), I did no doubt meet plenty of interesting people that were great to talk to and good to know. Many business elites stress networking as the number one most important factor in succeeding, and they will cite famous business icons such as Donald Trump and say “All he did was hang out with the right crowd, everything else followed.”
This may be true, and in the back of my head it does seem important, but most important was that I had fun and enjoyed it. It is getting to the point where I enjoy the business aspect of 3.7 as much as the passion I have for design and code. The problem now becoming, if I do expand at some point how much will I get to do of both? Hopefully I can strike that balance.