Wednesday, May 8, 2013

50 events, 500 products, awesome connections #min500

The Mass Innovation Nights awesomeness continues. Billed as a celebration of first 500 products launched at MIN, the 50th MIN event last night was part class reunion, part celebration, part product showcase, and all fun.  The Boston Globe hosted us again and also gave us some good press. Thanks, Boston Globe!

Providence - Old Stone Bank Dome Viewed from Governor Stephen Hopkins House
I started the day in Providence taking photos for new listings we're adding to At-Hand Guides.  That's a MIN story in its own right. Mass Innovation Nights events are all about connection. My association with At-Hand Guides is all about connections. Back in the distant mists of 2010, I ran into my old friend and colleague Jim Burrows at MIN20. At the time he mentioned that he and his son were working on some kind of mobile apps thing. I filed that somewhere in the lower left hand corner of my brain, where it stayed filed until a dark and stormy night in April of 2011 and MIN25. There I met Robert  Gray of At-Hand Apps (we've changed the name since then), which turned out to be the very mobile app thing Jim had been talking about. The rest is history. By the way, if you haven't bought New England At-Hand or one of our other guides for your iPhone, you're missing out. So that's how it came to pass that I'm leading off this story with a photo of Providence :-)

The Hive at Boston Globe Has Some Nifty Spaces
 So the Hive was full of MIN alumni and tons of people following up with each of them. The crowd built steadily from 6:00PM on until the place was just packed.  I made no attempt to photograph each table, instead concentrating on the crowd.

The Crowd Just Starting To Build -- Is That Trish From Vsnap Down There?
I even claimed I wasn't going to do any portraits this time so I could concentrate on crowds, since "social" is what MIN events are all about.

Above the Crowd -- Is That MoH Down There? And Izze Soda? Old Friends All!

Tim Stansky Taking Crowd Pix
Now That's A Crowd!
MIN is all about using social media to get the word out about cool products so there was a whole lot of tweeting going on.
Social Media Action Shot: Men of MIN with their Phones
It was great to see so many familiar faces and products. I love that I got to follow up with Julie from Chococoa Baking about how the whoopie pies went over at my cousin's birthday party.

BobbieC and Her Megaphone Summoning Folks to the Panel Discussion Upstairs
It was hard to stop catching up with all the alumni, and head upstairs to the panel discussion, but I loved hearing Noteflight, Chococoa Baking, GaggleAmp, and Project Repat talk about their experiences. Everybody gets useful lessons from MIN.

MIN By The Numbers

Tim's MIN By The Numbers slide show really showed the  power of connection. The tweet reach of MIN events is amazing.

From On High -- The View from the Third Floor
There were still tons of people milling about the tables downstairs while the slide show and panel were going on upstairs.  It was nonstop action wherever I looked. I had so many great conversations about everything from Third Wave coffee to the fall of the Pemberton Mill, that I can't recap them all here. Maybe those are topics for further blog entries.

One of many things I've learned at MIN events is the importance of branding. RaceMenu has so identified their brand with the color orange, that I think of them whenever I see orange. They had their orange banners and shirts going on at MIN500 and I hereby award them Best Costume of MIN500!

Best Costume

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