I went today to the Newtech Meetup in Palo Alto, which so far is the one I have enjoyed the most in Silicon Valley. Around 150 people showed up and 3 companies could demo what they are doing. At the end, around one hour of hard networking. There are many differences between these meetups and the ones I am used to in Madrid.
1. People don’t come late. They even come before the event starts. Some of them half an hour before. Why? The pizza, which is served before the event, helps. This would be very smart in Madrid, where people are used to starting events half an hour late.
2. People don’t talk while the presentations are being done. No comments, no remarks, nothing. Just silence. I found this very respectful but also a bit boring. This explains why around 30% of the audience is playing with their phones (mainly iphones) while the demos are being done.
3. People are very respectful with the projects. Even if they don’t like or don’t trust them, nothing is said. Just smart questions, so that the entrepreneurs can explain themselves. This is quite different to what you find in Spain, where many people are really looking the way to ashame you. There is a lot of tolerance in this respect.
Besides, I made a short interview with the organizer, Vincent Lauria, an entrepreneur himselft. He explains how these meetups work and how they were started almost 4 years ago. Among the companies that have demoed at this meetup, you find the following: Corank (yes, I have already had a drink with Rogelio), Prosper, Meebo, Yousendit, Veodia, Ning, Slideshare, Eventful, Ustream, Truemors, Plaxo, Seesmic, Tripit or Fixya.