Buzz, beer, and bubbles

Went to the second Paid Content mixer last night and it was jammed. The list of people Rafat and company attracted great. But Rafat and others complained that the noise kept the crowd from hearing Wall Street Journal honcho Gordon Crovitz. Alacra blog urged Rafat to keep the noisy “riff raff” out. I don’t think that’s the problem; it was hardly a riff-raff crowd. Neither do I necessarily think it’s about the venue, though this one was too disco, complete with a velvet rope and line (the last was a nice large room). The problem, I think, is that they’re trying to do too much, combining content and a mixer. The lesson, I think, is that people come for one or the other and they don’t want to stop mixing to start absorbing. My suggestion is that they consider two different kinds of events: one with a good and meaty discussion with the sorts of leaders whom PaidContent attracts (thus, no booze) and the other a mixer that lets people do their bubbly business.