I spent most of last week in Los Angeles for the auto show, which I attend for my job, but maybe not in the way you think. I do go to the press conferences and take pictures and notes and write stuff up immediately for About.com and later for the likes of HowStuffWorks.com or anyone else I can pick up as a client. But I also work the network.
The L.A. Auto Show is one of those events where I am guaranteed to run into a lot of people I know — mostly West Coasters — who then introduce me to people I want to know (hello, Lotus PR guy!). For example, fellow About guide Jeff Zurschmeide gave me the contacts to get into the swanky FIAT party, where I saw fellow NWAPA members and MSN Autos editors Perry Stern and Mike Meredith.
At that same party, I met up with Doug Newcomb, technology writer for Edmunds.com and also living in Oregon. It turns out our birthdays are only days apart, and we both wanted to visit Cole’s the oldest restaurant in downtown L.A. Whiskey and French dips, my friends. The necessary antidote to a day spent at a glitzy auto show.
At the Lotus booth, I ran into another About.com guide, Aaron Gold, who worked his networking magic on the Lotus people for me, and there was yet another guide at the Mercedes-Benz press conference, Basem Wasef, who helped me out with a picture of a Lamborghini reveal that I missed.
Thanks to all these folks, I didn’t have to spend a single evening alone in L.A. watching Cake Boss reruns on TV. Which was nice, since the Cake Boss brought a giant FIAT 500-shaped cake to the party. Tasty.