Last night I braved the chilly winds and icy pavements to get to the BookMachine Meetup – it’s a London-based drinks social for folks in the publishing industry. Last night the venue was The Albany near to Great Portland Street station. It only took a little bit of wandering round until I saw people who looked like they might be publishing types (you can kind of spot them) and joined the group.
Not only was there a glass of bubbly served up by Gavin (one of the organisers) on my arrival but later on in the night I got a funky pin badge! The huge benefit of this over being given a name label was that I didn’t look like a complete idiot when I forgot to take it off when leaving the pub. That happens to me quite a lot.
It was certainly a well-oiled book machine. It was a really relaxed environment with plenty of friendly people – quite a few from the Hachette building (just down the road) but I also got chatting to people working at a digital agency and a book publicity company amongst others. I always like events where there isn’t necessarily an agenda to ‘network’ or talk about a specific subject, beyond something hugely general like ‘books’. Digital developments are on everyone’s mind at the moment so we did end up chatting about that quite a lot, but then conversation ranged from mental journalists to publishing conspiracies (the latter was particularly entertaining!)
If you work in publishing and want to meet people outside your own office then I’d definitely recommend popping along. It’s definitely not scary. And the bonus about heading out on a very cold night was that on the way home, for once, I was very grateful for the fact that the Victoria Line was ridiculously hot!