As featured in LUX Worldwide Magazine. You can find the full post here.
What: Vida Consultancy Event: Meet The Introducers
Where: Cadogan Contemporary Gallery, London
When: 12th May 2015
We can all imagine the horrifying situations that ‘speed dating’ might bring about, but ‘speed dating’ is a phrase that shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence as Vida, unless it is to say that they could not be more different. Vida is in a whole different league, nay stratosphere. The Vida Consultancy is a highly selective dating service and as such once a quarter they provide clients with the opportunity to meet others in a group environment: a Meet The Introducers evening. Vida8 is the events side of The Vida Consultancy and they put on regular invitation-only events in London and across Europe every few weeks. At these kind of events you can expect only to meet a certain ilk of person, and whilst other companies may claim to be selective, Vida truly is, and I can confirm this from first-hand experience.
Last week I was invited to join one of the soirees, and although I may have worried more about what I was going to wear than the people I was going to meet, I felt privileged to be attending. As a “journalist” I find myself attending a lot of events, and sometimes to my dismay I have to go alone. This does, quite frankly, fill me with fear but at least I know the format now. As I ambled toward the Vida8 venue of choice I was struck by my usual pang of anxiety. The venue was an intimate gallery, perfectly positioned yards from my front door in Cadogan Contemporary Gallery. Tastefully, ten minutes or so after the event began, I wandered in to the familiar space.
Vida8 puts on regular drinks parties, cooking lessons and several different types of meet-ups to give members of Vida a chance to encounter several people in a relaxed setting – and to my surprise, it certainly was relaxed-not uncomfortable at all.
There are a few tricks that the Vida8 team have mastered; the first is to provide a location that is both beautiful and intimate but also a talking point in itself.
If at any point during the night I was struggling for something to say (which I must confess did not happen often) it was completely acceptable to simply mention the artwork adorning the walls, which was Gabriele Cappelli & Cristiano Di Martino in case you were wondering. Another key point to the proceedings is most likely the best social lubricant of all – vino, of all colours. Finally, it is of course the guests themselves. As it was a ‘Meet the Introducers’ occasion, we (as the clients) got to meet other members as well as those working their very best to find us potential matches.
My nerves, it must be confessed, never fully subsided whilst I think others found their groove a little earlier on in the night. But essentially it was a pressure free occasion with the added bonus that you were with like-minded people who were perhaps searching for the same thing as yourself. Very much like previous press events I have attended, it did not seem bizarre at all to exchange business cards with both men and women alike.
Many mingled, taking time to talk to everyone in the room whilst others seemed engrossed in their own little conversations. The atmosphere was bubbling, crescendoing intermittently to an almost raucous level.
I, myself, spoke with many gentleman covering subjects such as art, charity, and the usual patter of occupation, location and libation. The consistent pattern of the night for most was speaking with as many people as you could, but naturally rather forced. If you were captivated by a certain conversation it wasn’t at all inconvenient for one or two more people to join in. Champagne in hand, I found myself speaking to an Italian, an Englishman and a Portuguese at one point, and remarkably it worked.
The foundation of the evening was, fundamentally, an informal networking event and although some of the connections made were most definitely not romantic ones it felt good to just give it a go and perhaps make some new friends. The range of age and type of person was impressive, although at 24 I felt I was rather too young. However, I found myself chatting to some ladies in their early thirties who seemed to be more in their element than myself. The age spanned from about 35 to 55 and it seemed everyone had someone to talk to. Whilst I can confidently say no one left without a smile on their face I can also presume a few select people perhaps left with more than that. A phone number obviously.
By Katie Hill
Katie Hill is an Account Manager & Editorial Assistant at Lux Worldwide. Launched in 2012 Lux Worldwide is the definitive online guide to luxury. LUX Worldwide provide quality content on the world’s most exclusive brands.