Because someone I know was speaking, and some I know sent me an invite on facebook I went. Rebecca Bollwitt was speaking on Building Your Personal Brand
The meet up site has a link to what was said, and all I am going to talk about is the place - not the event itself. It was held in the Vancouver Room. Rebecca was standing in the middle of the long thin room with her back to the bar and managed to make herself heard. The bar did not have a working microphone - though it did have a very loud sound system which got turned up as soon as the meeting was over, which chased a lot of us out. They also had an espresso machine - and that did not work either, and an inability to deliver alternative non-alcoholic refreshment. Somehow I got tap water which was not even offered to one of my companions. I got the impression that this location may be unused to hosting this kind of event. Staff seemed overworked and generally unenthusiastic about this clientele.
Of course it does not help when the people who come to "meet up" do not really want to listen, and keep their conversations going even though that means all the questions were completely inaudible. Which I think is, at the very least, discourteous.
This end of Granville has always been the tackier end. And that I think is not coincidence that it is the section kept open to traffic. It is also now one of the highest densities of seats in establishments licensed to sell alcohol in the City. Which actually has lead to it being closed to traffic when the bars tip out at weekends. New developments seem to be trying to raise the tone. A couple of doors down, on the corner of Nelson, is a new Blenz which has a distinct "new coffee house" smell, nice furnishings and a state of the art computerised system for its display screens. These carry the menus, promos and a very large read out at the the till. One very prominent display was unfortunately also featuring a Windows update pop up in the lower right hand corner - which staff of course were unable to do anything about.