by Ed Becker
Edited by Chris Stroyne
“Here is to energy independence for the United States and the contribution from everyone in this room to make that a reality,” said Tejas Gosai, President of ToGoMultimedia, in a toast with more than 150 guests at the launch of a new initiative called E3: Elite Energy Events.
On Thursday, January 24, the Holiday Inn Express in Bentleyville, PA opened its doors for the launch of this monthly networking opportunity—E3. The standing room only reception proved there is a genuine interest and need in physically bringing people together to make “change” happen. Although it had a true “party” atmosphere, it was definitely a mix of fun and business.
The genesis for E3 was due largely to an educational initiative that ToGoMultimedia sponsored a year earlier. ToGoMultimedia is a niche public relations firm that disseminates energy information through Internet, radio, publication, and events. Launched in 2008, ToGoMultimedia reaches more than 2 million people per year with websites such as TheMarcellusShale.com, TheUticaShale.com, ShaleAdvantage.com, and announced at the E3, TheEagleFordShale.com.
In 2012, the websites managed by ToGoMultimedia sponsored a series of successful seminars focusing primarily on the Marcellus and Utica Shale industry. Although the educational seminars drew participants, Gosai and the team realized there was one particular part of the seminars that attendees found to be the most productive.
“Although the goal was to offer an educational opportunity with these seminars, we realized everyone really enjoyed the networking breaks in between the presentations,” said Gosai. “The attendees wanted to talk about their niche products or services with each other. The feedback from seminar guests clearly showed the importance of networking time. Thus, we re-focused and re-tooled the concept to provide this opportunity.”
Lea Guarino of Guarino Group Productions coordinated the E3 event and Ameila’s Elegant Catering served complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while coordinator DJ Lady Lea offered a bed of energetic music through the evening as a host of event sponsors showcased their services. The admission price of $15 went to two key non-profit energy education organizations; Young Professionals in Energy and the Energy Education and Communication Foundation, a non-profit organization exclusively for young students interested in learning about the energy field and pursuing a lasting career within the region.
Despite the informal social environment it was apparent that participants had business on their minds.
There were more conversations about the proposed cracker plant in Beaver County than predictions on the Super Bowl. Instead of community and corporate gossip, the most frequent things to be exchanged were handshakes, business cards, and inside information about the shale gas industry.
Rick Price, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities, said that he enjoyed the E3 event because it gave him an opportunity to talk about one of his favorite topics—the potential of compressed natural gas (CNG) as a transportation fuel game-changer.
Price even brought along a popular “guest” to the event—a RAM 2500HD Bi-fuel Pickup Truck.
“The E3 event was definitely worthwhile because folks were able to talk with each other about what’s going on in the industry, who is building compressed natural gas(CNG) stations, who is running vehicle on CNG and even folks who are looking to start use CNG as a transportation fuel,” said Price.
“This reception allowed me to talk to guests about CNG and all of the other alternative fuels. I also was able to catch up with folks who I’ve been involved with for years like BeemacTrucking, Clean Energy and of course AllEnergyNow folks.”
Another guest, Derek Hohn, Business Development Manager for NovaCare Rehabilitation, said the evening provided him with a networking opportunity that is sometimes lacking at similar functions.
“ I have been to plenty of networking events but after attending the E3 event, I have to say that TheMarcellusShale.com and TheUticashale.com put on a top shelf evening,” said Hohn. “ I also believe that the relaxed atmosphere and entertainment allowed for a personal opportunity to build new relationships. We are definitely looking forward to the next one.”
Another telling clue about the guest’s diversity was apparent in the mix of outfits. It wasn’t unusual to see someone in a business suit conversing with an apparent roustabout decked in jeans and a flannel shirt. The E3 team stressed that they want these monthly events to be open to the greatest mix of people to promote the greatest opportunity for networking.
“What sets our event apart from other gatherings is that we are a ‘big tent’ where everyone who plays a part in the energy industry is welcome,” said Guarino who will be coordinating the next event. “I think that is why tonight’s event is so successful. People who literally work in the gas fields can hang out with executives from an energy company. Someone who runs a construction company can share a beer with a drilling company president who may be looking for that type of vendor for his business.”
Commenting on The E3′s public announcement of TheEagleFordShale.com, Tushar Savalia, CEO of ToGoMultimedia, stated, “We have a few more sites up our sleeves, but we don’t want to launch them until they are perfect. We will announce something new every month, but you have to come to our next E3 to hear about it.”
The next Elite Energy Event will be held on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at the Holiday Inn Express in Bentleyville, PA.