by Nick Anderson
Wednesday, August 24th marked the annual Summer Mixer for the Children’s Media Association. As CMA’s mixers are free to non-members, The Blarney Rock was packed with children’s media specialists from all over Greater New York City.
And what a great mix of people for a mixer! You have people entering the industry sharing cheers with those in the biz for decades. And if that isn’t enough, these mixers come with tasty apps and a raffle. This year’s prizes included tickets to “Beautiful,” Swarovski Crystal Winnie the Pooh characters, and a free membership.
The CMA is known to throw a great party. My first event was the Holiday Mixer of December ’15. I was a nervous wreck, and a wallflower! Another new member approached me, we hit things off, exchanged business cards, and then gave each other strategies on how to introduce oneself to an already engaged circle. Turns all my nerves were for nothing, because the people were so warm and welcoming.
The Holiday Mixer featured a Photo Booth, and a CMA member pulled me into a group shot. You can probably see by my big smile and pink hat that I’m no longer a nervous wreck.
By the end of Holiday Mixer, I felt connected to a community of people who shared my passions—a community I needed to be a part of. I didn’t get the free membership, so I bought one, and went to every event I could. I bussed up from Philly until I decided it would be easier to just move to New York.
Here’s where my story gets crazy. I am now working on an exciting IP with two of the people in that photo. It seems almost random to me, but in truth it was the CMA that kept bringing us together with its events—until we finally realized we make a fantastic team.
Here we are at this event, the Summer Mixer:
What’s even crazier is this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened! I know of several businesses that have come out of the CMA. I know people from this very mixer who are planning to found a nonprofit organization, because they met here and realized how weirdly overlapping their interests are.
Some people are hearing about new job opportunities and talking to employees from that company. Others are chattin’ it up with the very supervisor in charge of their current application. I saw several of the big-shot guest speakers that CMA featured in this year’s events, and the mixer the perfect chance to ask your follow-up questions.
At the very least, you get to talk about what you love with people who love to hear about it. You connect with new people, and reinforce important relationships from previous events. If you’re stuck on something, someone there knows how to get you back in the flow.
The one problem I’ve noticed with CMA mixers is there are too many amazing people to meet at only one event! You literally (and I literally mean literally) want to meet everyone! If you were there and we didn’t meet, come up to me at the next CMA event. I want to meet you, and I am certain the same goes for everyone else. “We’ve never met, but I saw you at the Summer Mixer” is a great way to start a conversation.