Inside our Buro Speed Networking event with Singapore's captains of industry
Last event @ The Co.
At Buro 24/7 Singapore, we like to try new things, experiment with innovative ways of telling a story, and ultimately, do things differently. And it was this creative can-do attitude that led us to our first offline work collaboration with Scotts Square — pioneering a one-of-a-kind retail/editorial/production studio for 6 months that ended up scoring us a Marketing Magazine award for best pop-up.
When it came time to plan our second 6-month offline project, our priority was to get more involved with digital entrepreneurs and consultants. So, when the opportunity came up to run the entire editorial team out of The Co. — a premium co-working space at Duxton Hill populated with digital companies (not to mention crazy good coffee downstairs courtesy of MavRx plus countless eateries from Maxwell Food Centre to Tippling Club just a hop, skip and a jump away) — it was the perfect partnership. In addition to physically connecting and collaborating with other like-minded tech businesses, we also introduced "digital co-working"; live-streaming a total of 42 #BuroLive episodes (from beauty tutorials to designer interviews) to actively engage and interact with our readers. But alas, like all good things, our time at The Co. has come to an end.
As a final hoorah, our last event at The Co. was a Buro Speed Networking session with Singapore's captains of industry. Think: Speed-dating with the strict time limits (and accompanying bell to tell you to move on over, buster) but without the awkward personal or sexual questions (at least, not that I'm aware of). Hosted by yours truly (I canvassed questions about media and digital publishing), our panel of experts were #FriendsOfBuro and some of the nation's top movers and shakers:
FASHION: Velda Tan, Founder of Collate The Label
BEAUTY: Nicolas Travis, Founder of Allies of Skin
CULTURE: Nathan Hartono, Singer and songwriter
LIFESTYLE: Tania Chan, Marketing and communications director at the Lo & Behold Group
WATCHES & JEWELLERY: Carolyn Kan, Founder of Carrie K. jewellery
TECHNOLOGY: Krystal Choo, Founder of the Wander app
TELEVISION: Paula Malai Ali, Fox Sports Asia TV presenter
With each 'captain of industry' stationed at separate tables, attendees were allocated into three groups with each participant given a total of three minutes to network per 'captain'. And boy, let me tell you, it was hectic. Kind of like trying to hit up all the amusement rides in the final hour before the theme park shuts, if you know what I mean. Exhilirating, but manic. To fuel all the fun and frivolity, our good friends from Peroni Italy provided the premium beer; Fiji Water kept us hydrated amid all the convivial chit chat; and Lady M Confections spoiled us with delectable cakes, chocolate and canapés.
To give you an insight to the types of questions that were hurled my way, here's a sampling of my favourites:
"How do you develop a long-term relationship with the media?"
Marry your USP with the media's constant need to tell compelling stories. Exclusives, first dibs on breaking news, and just being on the ball always helps. Also, if you send an email that isn't personally addressed (for example, "Dear Media Friends") it's probably (scratch that, definitely) going to end up in the trash.
"Do you think there is a future for print?"
When was the last time you bought a magazine? Can't remember. Me too. Only the best will survive.
"Why are you wearing a T-shirt that says 'Free & Easy'?"
Because I'm easy like Sunday morning. And not in a salacious way, okay.
Click on the slideshow below for an inside look into our Buro Speed Networking event and to solve the mystery of who ate all the Lady M mille crepe cakes...
But as one chapter finishes, another one starts. Buro 24/7 Singapore will now move to our brand new head office in Lavender — 1 Syed Alwi Road #02-02, Singapore 207628 — and, of course, we're keeping our eyes open for our next offline project. What will we do next? Stay tuned.
Check back every Monday for another @MusingMutley column from Norman Tan, Editor-in-Chief of Buro 24/7 Singapore. Read more columns from @MusingMutley.