Thursday, October 11

LearnVest Live debrief

I'm on such a high from Tuesday night's first ever LearnVest Live. It was well attended, exciting, yummy, boozy, chatty, funny, network-y, swag-y, all the things ladies love overlaid with a focus on living your richest life. This is a long post, covering the event logistics, the food/booze/swag, and my personal networking. Feel free to jump ahead.

Logistics: the main event

Live your richest life

I didn't fully understand the logistics of the event beforehand, so I'd like to share that with you now. Cocktails for the first hour, then a general assembly with Alexa Von Tobel, the muy impressive founder (Harvard ugrad, Morgan Stanley employee, HBS attendee). After that, grab your dinner and head to the breakout sessions...but wait! There are 4 options per session, 2 sessions, so you can only go to two. My FOMO (fear of missing out) was in FULL SWING, let me tell you. I couldn't miss a chance to worship at the feet of sit in front of Genevieve Gorder...after all, Trading Spaces sparked my initial interest in design....but I desperately wanted to listen in to Joanna Coles as well, whom I heard totally rocked it. Also missed Cynthia Rowley (fashion) and Gail Simmons (food network). Argh! Someone mentioned that all speakers were recorded, so I'm hoping I'll have access to them soon so I can catch up on the events I missed. I'll keep y'all in the loop too.

Food, Booze, Swag

Guess how many I ate! Actually don't.

Dinner was boxed sandwiches from a woman-owned NYC restaurant, and they served Brooklyn Beer and fine wines all evening. Georgetown Cupcake (the Soho shop of course) provided cupcakes for a nice lil' taste of home. The swag bag was admirable, especially the mini-shoulder bag from Lo & Sons. I plan on doing an "all I want for Christmas" post soon, and those bags will literally top the list- perfect for the commuter chick. I won't elaborate here, since that is for a future post, but we were given a 25% off coupon that may just tip the scales for me. We also got an iPhone case (damn my Android), some makeup and beauty products, a few magazines, and discounts and coupons to many popular services, like Exhibition a (contemporary art prints, an interest of mine), Style for Hire (established by Stacy London, so how could I not love it?), and Uber (didn't know about this private car service, but D was super excited when I mentioned it). Can you see how this event was right up my alley?

Oh, don't forget the LearnVest financial planning sessions (worth $89) that we were all comped, which includes a technical conversation about my money reality and goals with a certified financial planner, a new budget, and 3 months of email access to your expert. Sweet! I start mine tomorrow.

Networking

Me in my snazzy all-women's networking outfit

It was tough to go alone, especially once I realized that many of the women attending had brought one or a gaggle of girlfriends and weren't necessarily looking to network with other attendees. My solution? Food and drink lines. You have some poor soul's undivided attention while they wait to be sated. I got on line behind a total rockstar who I ended up hanging with most of the night. Her friend worked for LV, and had gotten her to write a "Money Mic" article before; I actually remembered her piece, and we chatted about our careers, families, girl-crushes on Alexa, and affection for a Hoboken restaurant. We ended up having more than a few personal connections that made our conversation that much more fun, and I'm pretty sure we're now best friends. Later I got to sit with some girls who do social media consulting, and they were techy-cool and very "plugged in", if you know what I mean.

One other tip- utilize social media. I tweeted/instagrammed my outfit pic above, and within 5 minutes of my arrival (and 10 minutes of my post) I had the following exchange:

LV Staffer: excuse me, did you just tweet your outfit?
Me: um, yes? 
LV Staffer: It's a great outfit! I'm working all night to promote LVLive social media, so I reposted you here and retweeted you here etc etc. Who are you most excited to hear from tonight?
Me: Alexa Von Tobel is a goddess.
LV Staffer: Let's introduce you then! (snags blonde woman rushing by) Alexa? This is Meaghan and she's been sharing her LVLive experience via social media.
Alexa: You may touch my hand.
Me: This is so worth 20 bucks.

This is paraphrased, but only a little :) for real, use your social media, your network, your contacts, to represent yourself and your brand. And come with me next year! LVLive, coming to cities all over the U.S. soon.

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