Earlier this week Shimon Rura and I hosted the second Genius Workshop dinner along with about 30 people who joined us. The idea is to bring tech innovators, creators and thinkers together in a room for dinner to conspire about individual projects and enjoy a good meal. Two people mentioned that we should have a more formal networking structure because they are serious about their business and focused on getting things done. Good for them, eh? The thing is, I think that most anyone you talk to can be of interest to you if you are open to the possibility. My event style for things I host is ideally a combination of networking and community. Many networking events will prepare a spreadsheet of participants’ contact information and backgrounds for everyone to review prior to the event so that you can determine who is worthy of your time. Whenever I’m presented with something like that I try to find at least a few people on the list who have absolutely nothing to do with what I am working on or interested in. You just never know. Susan Mernit and I had a related conversation about this during the Mobile Media Conference last weekend in LA and she concurred that she likes to throw in some randomness when inviting people to events. I’m glad I’m not alone!